30.9 Million Visitors In 2014 - All-time Record

Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area visited by 30.9 million in 2014, an all-time record

Meet Minneapolis-commissioned study shows increased visitor counts and spending as industry celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week


(MINNEAPOLIS) May 1, 2015The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area saw 30.9 million total visitors in 2014, a 5 percent increase over 2013s 29.4 million convention and leisure travel visitors, which is an all-time record for the area. Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, announced today that a study conducted by D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Ltd., shows that both the number of visitors and visitor spending increased again in 2014. This news arrives as the hospitality industry prepares to celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week (May 2-10, 2015).

Those visitors spent $7.4 billion in the area, an increase of 4 percent over 2013, when spending was $7.1 billion. The number of leisure visitors alone also increased 2.8 percent to 22.3 million in 2014 from 21.7 million in 2013, with their spending increasing to $5.1 billion, or 2 percent over $5 billion spent in 2013.

We announced back in January that 2014 was a record year for Minneapolis hospitality, said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. So, while not surprising, this new data is further evidence of the health of our industry, which supports nearly 33,000 jobs in Minneapolis alone. It is also a strong indication that the efforts Meet Minneapolis and our partners put forth to attract conventions and leisure travelers is having the desired effect.

Visits to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area are expected to continue to increase with a goal of 10 million more visitors, from 26.8 million in 2011 to a projected 36.8 million in 2017.

The U.S. travel industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has recovered far faster than other economic sectors from jobs lost to the recession. Travel supports one out of nine jobs and generated $2.1 trillion in economic output in 2014. This did not only affect places like New York, Orlando and Las Vegas Minneapolis-Saint Paul and communities across America are reaping the benefits. National Travel & Tourism Week gives the industry an opportunity to shine a light on what travel means to jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

In the set of cities Minneapolis competes for convention business with, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro areas 30.9 million visitors in 2014 put it just behind metropolitan area visitor counts in Chicago (50.2 million) and Dallas (44.1 million). Visitor counts lower than Minneapolis were Indianapolis (26 million), St. Louis (23.9 million), Kansas City (17 million), Denver (13 million), New Orleans (9.52 million) and Milwaukee (7 million). The competitive cities data have been made available publically; however, they may not be comparing the same criteria and were not part of the study commissioned by Meet Minneapolis.


Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area.

Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.

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When attendees or other visitors attending events in the city have questions about where to go, what to do or just need directions, all they need to do is ask by using the Meet Minneapolis hashtag #askMPLS on social media. Staff members are on the ready to respond to questions and assist to ensure a great visitor experience for all who come to Minneapolis


Kristen Montag, media & communication manager, 612.767.8038, kristenm@minneapolis.orgMinneapolis_PR on Twitter.