ESTO is another high profile travel industry event that Minneapolis has earned the right to host, and it will be here in August of 2017. More than 800 tourism professionals with expertise in research, technology and marketing will be in attendance for ESTO, and because it will be here, many more of the Meet Minneapolis staff professionals can attend and sharpen their skills.
Securing ESTO is also a part of our strategy to expose key decision makers and opinion leaders to a destination they may not have experienced. This hands-on marketing strategy was also behind our hosting the Destination Marketing Association International's (DMAI) Annual Convention earlier this summer and Meeting Professionals International's World Education Congress in 2014.
We've heard anecdotally that once an individual visitor or a meeting and event professional can personally take in our city, the likelihood of their return and their willingness to be an ambassador for us rises significantly. This fact has been documented in recent research relating to our Destination Transformation 2030 initiative in both visitors who have been here recently as well as meeting planners who have planned events here. Kevin Hanstad on our team will be sharing more of those details in the coming weeks.
So next year when we are planning to access all that ESTO has to offer, we won't even need to leave town. We can just celebrate another win for the community in hosting a major convention, and our Meet Minneapolis team will have even more tools to represent our industry.