Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Future’s So Bright…For Minnesota Hospitality


Courtesy of Explore Minnesota

Warmer weather is around the corner. That means it's time to plan spring and summer trips. If you are making plans for travel across the state this year, you might have company. When it comes to hospitality in Minnesota, the future’s so bright. Such was the theme when leaders from across Minnesota’s hospitality industry convened last week in Duluth for the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference. For attendees, there was much to be excited about.

For those keeping score, the hospitality economy in our wonderful state is back in full form following some difficult years of the Great Recession. By many measures, 2014 looks to break record travel levels set in 2007. Tourism sales in Minnesota reached $12.5 billion during 2012, which is equivalent to more than $34 million a day that is spent in counties and communities across the entire state. Another sign that tourism stands on solid ground can be seen in job figures. As of December 2013, the nation’s travel industry has recovered 99 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, putting it just 5,000 shy of the pre-recession levels, according to data from the U.S. Travel Association. By comparison, the rest of the economy has recovered just 86 percent of lost jobs. Here in Minnesota, that means nearly 245,000 full- and part-time jobs are directly linked to tourism—that’s 11 percent of all private sector jobs. Certainly cause for celebration.

Perhaps the biggest cause for optimism at this year’s annual tourism conference comes from what Explore Minnesota Tourism Director John Edman dubbed the “Minnesota Miracle” in his presentation to the group: the fact that the Legislature passed a 67 percent increase in the organization’s operating budget—increasing from $8.3 million to just short of $14 million. While the funding isn’t the $100 million that Visit Florida is asking its own Legislature to pass for 2014-15 budget, Minnesota’s increase will allow the state to market its offerings like never before. Already a new ad campaign is in the works, building upon the “More to Explore” theme but based on research data for specific markets, with more visual emphasis. In the coming months, Explore Minnesota will also be updating more mobile options, as more Americans now use smartphones than computers.

Is it correct to state, “the future’s so bright” for Minnesota tourism? I’d say so. And to borrow from another ‘80s pop tune: Things can only get better.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: April

Sue Z.'s picks for philanthropic food events in April will have you supporting women chefs, sipping crafty cocktails, and celebrating Cookie Cart's 30th birthday

A Day Trip to Waconia

Enjoy great views, dining, and craft beverage destinations in this West Metro lakeside town

11 Easter Egg Hunts: From Flashlights to Geocaching

Yes, there's an annual adults-only Easter egg hunt in Rochester—and another for dogs, and another with geocaching, and another that drops them out of the sky. Check out more of the best egg hunts around Minnesota.

Rock Climbing in Minnesota

Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota

5 Natural Wonders in Minnesota

Mother Nature takes the best selfies

Bad Axe Throwing Opens Minneapolis Location

Axe throwing makes its debut in Northeast Minneapolis—and it's not as dangerous as it sounds

Visit Award-Winning Minnesota Distilleries

Tattersall Distilling, J. Carver Distillery, and RockFilter Distillery are all worth the trip

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: March

Sue Z. picks Cochon555 as her philanthropic food event this month

5 Must-See Minnesota Public Gardens

Visiting these botanical wonders are sure to make your daisy
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags