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Positive Outlook Reported at Southern Minnesota Travel Association Annual Meeting

by Dawn Hegland on October 3rd, 2012

Prairie Waters staff Jenifer Fadness recently attended the Southern Minnesota Tourism Association’s annual meeting held in Owatonna on Sept. 13.

The annual meeting included an overview of the 2012 marketing plan for southern Minnesota, updates and opportunities from Explore Minnesota Tourism, and reports from both the Marketing and the Government Relations Committees. Speakers included Al Batt, noted author and birding expert, and representatives from Hunting Works for Minnesota and Minnesota Pheasants Forever.

John Edman, Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, gives a “State of the Industry” presentation to the attendees of the Southern Minnesota Tourism Association Annual Meeting.

The keynote speaker was John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, who gave a “State of the Industry” report. According to Edman’s presentation, state-conducted research  shows that tourism is one of the state’s largest industries and continues to grow.

Some facts and figures from his presentation include:

  • The leisure and hospitality industry provides 11% of the state’s total private sector employment.
  • Tourism is a key sector of Minnesota’s economy, comparable to agriculture in its contributions to the gross state product.
  • Direct economic benefits of tourism include employment, income, business receipts, proprietor’s income and corporate profit, dividends, interest, rent, and federal, state, and local taxes.
  • Leisure & Hospitality gross receipts in Minnesota totaled over $11.3 billion dollars for 2010. This generated tax receipts of over $732 million in state sales tax, which is 17% of total State sales tax revenues.
  • Travel and tourism impacts virtually every industry and area in Minnesota, from accounting and manufacturing to tour operators and zoos.
  • The leisure and hospitality industry saw sales increase 40% between 2000 and 2010. For 2010, the industry accounted for over 235,000 full- and part-time jobs with wages of over $4 billion.
  • Tourism marketing provides a measurable return on investment. Every $1 invested in tourism marketing returns an estimated $4.60 in new state and local taxes, $20.40 in wages, and $53 in gross sales.
  • Travelers in Minnesota spend an average of more than $31 million a day.

Sources: Explore Minnesota Tourism, Economic Impact Estimates: Minnesota Department of Revenue; Travel Industry Association, Travel Scope; 2012 Tourism and the Economy

Edman also shared information gathered on Minnesota travelers:

  • Travelers are seeking what’s new and what’s next
  • They want information NOW.
  • 85% of travelers use mobile phones.
  • Travelers look to social networks for advice, and 70% of travelers trust “online word of mouth.

As a regional tourism program, Prairie Waters relies on partners such as Explore Minnesota Tourism and the Southern Minnesota Travel Association, while we look ahead to 2013. Our key objectives continue to be maximizing our budget, working with elected officials of Region 6W, marketing the region in both traditional and new media, and education about the impact and importance of tourism.


For more information about Prairie Waters, visit, find us on Facebook at or call 866-866-5432.


For more information on Explore Minnesota Tourism, visit their website at There is a section of the website dedicated to the Southern Minnesota Region.

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