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Study: Twin Cities Visitors And Tourism Spending Up In 2013

Approximately 29.4 million travelers visited the Twin Cities in 2013, representing a 5.4 percent increase over 2012, according to a study commissioned by Meet Minneapolis.

Study: Twin Cities Visitors And Tourism Spending Up In 2013
A recent study suggests that the number of visitors drawn to the Twin Cities increased to nearly 30 million last year, and the amount of money those visitors spent increased by 3.2 percent.
 
The annual study, commissioned by the convention and visitors’ association Meet Minneapolis, found that Twin Cities visitors spent $7.11 billion in the area throughout 2013, up from $6.89 billion the year before.
 
The total number of visitors increased by 5.4 percent from last year’s 27.9 million. Leisure travelers alone numbered about 21.7 million in 2013, up 3.2 percent from the prior year. Leisure spending, meanwhile, jumped 5 percent to $4.7 billion.

The Twin Cities’ 29.4 million visitors came in behind Chicago’s 2013 tally of 48.4 million. Dallas, meanwhile, had about 44 million visitors—giving it a slight edge over the Twin Cities as well. However, the Twin Cities had more visitors than Indianapolis (26 million), Kansas City (22.3 million), St. Louis (21.6 million), Denver (13.6 million), New Orleans (9.3 million), and Milwaukee (7 million), according to Meet Minneapolis.

Visitor figures for those cities were made public but were not part of the same study commissioned by Meet Minneapolis. The study of Twin Cities visitors was conducted by McLean, Virginia-based tourism and travel research company D.K. Shifflet & Associates.

According to Meet Minneapolis, the methodology for D.K. Shifflet’s study involves surveys being sent to 50,000 U.S. households per month to determine vacation stays and destinations throughout the country and internationally.

Respondents report trips taken in the past 3 months away from home for at least one night as well as day trips taken in the past month outside their local areas. The resulting sample data is then projected to arrive at the published visitor counts and related spending.

While the visitor count is spread out throughout the entire year, 29.4 million visitors works out to more than 80,000 tourists per day.

“As an organization that sells and markets the city of Minneapolis as the destination of choice for conventions, meetings, small groups and leisure travelers, we are elated to hear about this boost in tourism,” Meet Minneapolis President Melvin Tennant said in a statement. “We are on track to achieve our goal of reaching 36.8 million visitors by 2017.”
 
In related news, state travel tourism agency Explore Minnesota announced last month that the state would be launching its largest-ever marketing effort to boost tourism. Utilizing more than $11 million in additional funding provided by the legislature and Governor Mark Dayton, the new campaign will feature television, outdoor, and digital ads created by Minneapolis-based ad agency Colle + McVoy.
 
“Every dollar we invest in promoting Minnesota tourism brings another $84 of consumer spending into our state’s economy—supporting Minnesota’s vitally important hospitality industry,” Dayton said in an April statement. “That is why I worked with the Legislature last year to increase Explore Minnesota Tourism's budget by over 65 percent.”
 
The campaign expands Explore Minnesota’s marketing reach into six new states and one new province: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and Saskatchewan.
 
In 2012, Twin Cities Business took an in-depth look at Minnesota’s tourism marketing and its battle with Wisconsin and South Dakota for vacation goers. Click here to read more.
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