TOURISM INDUSTRY ACHIEVEMENTS HONORED AT STATE CONFERENCE
During the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference held in Minneapolis this week, several individuals, organizations, and businesses were recognized for their contributions to the state’s travel industry.
Terry Mattson, President and CEO of Visit Duluth, was named “Outstanding Individual in Tourism” for his long-term work on behalf of the Minnesota tourism industry at a variety of levels. Mattson has been active with the Duluth Area Attractions Council, the North Shore Tourism Association, the Minnesota Arrowhead Association and Destination Marketing Association International. Mattson has also served as president of the Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus and currently serves with both the Minnesota Tourism Advisory Council and the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition.
Doug Killian, Director of Tourism at Mall of America, received a “Friend of Tourism” award for significant contributions to the Minnesota travel and tourism industry. In his position at Mall of America, Killian is responsible for directing U.S. and international tourism programs for the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex. His international work with tour operators and travel agents has drawn visitors from around the world to the Twin Cities area.
Awards are also given annually to note creative, successful tourism marketing programs by Minnesota tourism promotion organizations. This year’s Travel Marketing Awards of Excellence went to Meet Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association for marketing promotions to drive more leisure travel to the city, and to Lake of the Woods Tourism for promoting the area’s fishing through a national pro fishing tournament and a related town festival. Marketing Awards of Merit were presented to the New Ulm Convention and Visitors Bureau for a social marketing initiative with the theme “Germans Have More Fun,” and to the Minnesota Zoo for a marketing campaign promoting the Dinosaurs! exhibit that drove record summer attendance.
About Explore Minnesota Tourism
As the state's tourism office, Explore Minnesota Tourism pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state's tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. A council of representatives from the state's tourism industry strongly connects Explore Minnesota Tourism with tourism businesses and organizations.
Tourism is an $11.9 billion industry in Minnesota, a key sector of the state’s economy. The leisure and hospitality industry, a major provider of tourism services, employs almost 240,000, representing 11 percent of private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 17 percent of state sales tax revenues.