Summer Tourism In Minnesota At Its Strongest Since 2008
A statewide lodging survey conducted by the state’s foremost tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota, found that the 2015 summer travel season hit a seven-year peak.
The reason for the travel surplus: favorable weather and some economic factors.
Results of the annual survey were gathered from 244 Minnesota lodging businesses, such as hotels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds and vacation home rentals. More than half of the respondents (51 percent) said their summer occupancy was up, along with increased revenue (62 percent) compared to the 2014 summer season. Overall, 87 percent of the survey takers rated their current financial health as growing, or stable but positive.
In a statement, John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota, said, “2015 has been, and will continue to be, a strong year for Minnesota’s $13 billion tourism industry.”
Edman anticipates the strong summer season to have a carryover effect into the fall, a belief shared by AAA. The motor club is forecasting as much as 35.5 million American travelers over the Labor Day weekend—another seven-year high.
The Explore Minnesota survey respondents were somewhat optimistic as well. More than a third (34 percent) were expecting increased occupancy and almost half (43 percent) presumed to have higher revenue than fall 2014.
“These results continue an exciting trend for Minnesota tourism, and along with a strong economy, indicate that our marketing efforts and ‘Only in MN’ campaign are working,” added Edman, who was recently named State Tourism Director of the Year by the U.S. Travel Association.
According to Explore Minnesota, tourism in Minnesota accounts for 250,000 workers, representing 11 percent of the state’s private sector employment. The leisure and hospitality industry also generate 17 percent of the of Minnesota’s sales tax revenues.