Rosy Outlook for Summer Tourism

Rosy Outlook for Summer Tourism

Survey: Resort and campground operators expect revenue to grow this summer

Owners of lodges and camp sites in Minnesota are feeling pretty good about business prospects over the coming summer.

That’s according to the results of an Explore Minnesota survey released Monday. Of the survey’s more than 200 respondents, 36 percent expect occupancy to be up this summer compared to last summer. What’s more, 43 percent of respondents expect revenue to be up this summer.

“Among the reasons respondents cited for their positive outlook for summer were a continued good economy, strong customer service, their own good marketing, social media inspiration, property expansions and improvements, higher rates and hope/expectations for better weather,” Explore Minnesota officials wrote in the report’s summary.

Campground operators also believe “increased interest in the camping experience” may drive more business this summer, according to Explore Minnesota.

In total, 80 percent of respondents felt “positive” about the current financial health of their business.

This year’s survey featured a new open-ended question asking respondents to cite their most pressing issue. Unsurprisingly, workforce shortages was a chief concern for many businesses.

“Staffing shortages continued a thread of workforce-related issues seen in responses to all open-ended questions,” Explore Minnesota officials said. “Representative responses include ‘no help!!’ and ‘lack of and quality of staff available.’”

The cost of maintenance and replacing equipment ranked as another area of concern for some respondents.

The Explore Minnesota survey comes as a number of North Shore properties change hands. Joe Re, owner of Superior Shores in Two Harbors, last week TCB that advanced deposits for stays are “way up” this year. Re’s property is now under contract to be sold soon.

Explore Minnesota conducted the survey in May 2019. The online survey solicited responses from 1,670 owners of lodges and campgrounds throughout Minnesota. The agency logged a response rate of 13 percent with a total of 222 respondents.