Despite cooler-than-normal temperatures, tourism in Minnesota was hot this summer, according to a survey conducted by the state’s tourism agency Explore Minnesota.
Responses from 300 lodging businesses—hotels, motels, resorts, bed-and-breakfasts, campgrounds and vacation home rentals—showed increases in revenue and occupancy compared to 2018.
Revenue was up for 49 percent of respondents, and down for 24 percent. Occupancy was up for 42 percent of respondents and down for only 26 percent. Eighty percent of the 300 businesses said their overall financial health was either growing or positively stable.
"These positive results indicate a strong economy and that statewide tourism promotion is [working],” said John Edman, director/CEO of Explore Minnesota.
Touting Minnesota’s mix of outdoor, urban, and cultural offerings, Edman noted the state brings in about 73 million visitors every year. In Minnesota, it’s estimated that tourism is a $15.3 billion industry. Summer—between Memorial Day and Labor Day—accounts for 37 percent of that intake.
This year’s survey results are on par with last year’s results. The 2019 survey results also line up with expectations heading into the summer.
Heading into the fall, which accounts for 25 percent of Minnesota’s tourism industry, businesses are again optimistic. Thirty-one percent of respondents to Minnesota’s fall travel outlook survey expect revenue for the season to be up from 2018, and 28 percent expect increased occupancy.
"2019 has been a successful year for Minnesota tourism, and we hope the momentum will continue during Minnesota's second-busiest travel season,” said Edman.