Minnesota residents consistently reported tourism as an important part of Minnesota’s economy, while spending and intended spending varied slightly across survey periods. In terms of perceptions regarding tourism, more than nine out of 10 Minnesota residents reported tourism as important to the state’s economy during 2005-2009. Between 2011 and 2014, leisure travel spending habits fluctuated. They dipped in 2011 but increased and have remained stable since then. Following a similar pattern, intended spending on leisure travel in the next 12 months dipped in 2012, but has increased since that time.
Tourism is a diverse Minnesota industry which employs more than 10% of the workforce. Business expenditure data in tourism is monitored annually through state-level organizations. For example, according to Explore Minnesota, the state’s annual gross sales in leisure and hospitality increased between 2009 and 2013 from $11 to $13 billion. More specifically, sales at leisure and hospitality businesses grew 39% from 2009 to 2013 (Explore Minnesota, 2015). Data collection assessing perceptions about tourism and resident spending on it, however, is less consistently performed. But this data is no less important, as Paulin states, “tourism expenditures are important to the average consumer and to the economy as a whole” (2012, p. 1).
Schneider, Ingrid; Schlueter, Alex.
A Summary of Select Trends among Minnesota Tourism Perceptions and Spending.
University of Minnesota Tourism Center.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
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