Edit ModuleShow Tags

There's More to Explore


Early next month, leaders from Minnesota’s hospitality industry will convene in downtown Minneapolis to talk about the latest trends in our state’s tourism industry. This year the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, which will take place at the Hilton Minneapolis Hotel February 12-13, will have a strong focus on digital marketing, giving many attendees tips about how to spread the word about what Minnesota has to offer to travelers across the world.

On Wednesday, Governor Mark Dayton will address the conference, and he is expected to speak about why it is important, from an economic perspective, to support our state’s tourism industry. The numbers do tell the tale. From 2000 to 2010, sales in leisure and hospitality businesses grew 40 percent, surpassing $11 billion in gross sales, according to data gathered by Explore Minnesota; that’s more than $31 million a day. Travel and tourism creates jobs in every Minnesota county, and its contribution to the gross state product is on par with agriculture, which to me is a bit surprising. But there seems to be room for improvement, which is why the governor is expected to call for more statewide spending on promoting our state to tourists.

In terms of tax receipts generated by travel spending, Minnesota ranks ninth compared to other states. Nevertheless, its state tourism office budget ranks 30th. According to initial reports, Governor Dayton would like that to increase, a lot. According to tourism officials, every dollar that is invested in state tourism marketing generates $4.60 in state and local taxes, $20.40 in wages, and $53 in gross sales. That’s why the governor would like to increase Explore Minnesota’s budget from $8.7 million per fiscal year to nearly $16 million for each of the next two fiscal years beginning in 2014, an increase of nearly 86 percent. The additional funding, to come from an increase in car rental taxes from 6.2 percent to just over 9 percent, would be used to greatly increase marketing, that would in turn increase spending and add jobs to our state.

As with any proposal, there is a long way to go before ideas and initiatives are actually turned into law. But for anyone who loves tourism, and who appreciates the economic impact it has on our state, the governor’s proposals sound like money well spent.

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

Brewery Running Series

We like brew, yes we do. We like brew, so we're willing to run 3.1 miles for it

Plunge Into Minnesota's Water Parks

Although Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, don’t forget about water slides this summer

Memorial Day Activities in the Twin Cities

From historical reenactments to a hip-hop music festival, there's something for everyone this Memorial Day weekend in the Twin Cities.

A Day Trip to Red Wing

Located right on the Mississippi River, Red Wing offers a historic downtown district and spectacular views

It's Farmers Market Season

No matter where you live in Minnesota, fresh produce, flowers and homemade goodies await

Origami in the Garden

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's latest exhibit puts the art of folding paper on full display with a garden and metal twist

New Ways to Explore 3 Classic MN Destinations

From Fort Snelling to the North Shore, check out this summer's technological updates to historic and wild Minnesota places

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

What to Wear + Where to Go: Music Festivals

Your style guide for Minnesota music festivals

Mesabi Trail Offers New Views in Northern Minnesota

The Mesabi Trail, a 120-mile paved cycling and hiking trail that spans the Mesabi Iron Range, recently opened a new connection in Virginia, MN that crosses the state's tallest bridge and offers amazing views of former minelands.

Glensheen Mansion Bonfire Nights

Enjoy this summer tradition from one of the most iconic estates in the state

Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies

If April showers bring May flowers, spring babies bring fun for the whole family

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
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags