FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Meet Minneapolis-commissioned study shows increased visitor counts and spending as industry celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week
(MINNEAPOLIS) —May 5, 2016—The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area saw 31.6 million total visitors in 2015, a 2 percent increase over 2014’s 30.9 million convention and leisure travel visitors, which is a new 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 yet again in 2015. This news arrives as the hospitality industry celebrates the 33rd annual National Travel & Tourism Week (May 1-7, 2016).
Those visitors spent $7.5 billion in the area, an increase of 1 percent over 2014, when spending was $7.4 billion. The number of leisure visitors alone also increased 1 percent to 22.5 million in 2015 from 22.3 million in 2014, with their spending increasing to $5.2 billion, or 2 percent over $5.1 billion spent in 2014.
“Minneapolis continues to set all-time hospitality records,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. “This data further supports the contention that the industry is stronger than ever in Minneapolis, just as it is across the nation, where travel is one of America’s strongest industries.” Travel and tourism generates $2.1 trillion for the U.S. economy.
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.
“Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including 33,453 jobs right here in Minneapolis, or 10 percent of the local workforce,” said Tennant. “This week, we are celebrating these workers and what travel means to our community.”
In the set of cities Minneapolis competes for convention business with, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area’s 31.6 million visitors in 2015 put it behind the metropolitan area visitor count in Chicago (52 million in 2015). Visitor counts lower than Minneapolis’ were Indianapolis (26 million in 2014), St. Louis (24 million in 2014), Kansas City (24 million in 2014) and Denver (15 million in 2014). 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.
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 goal of 36.8 million in 2017.
ABOUT 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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Kristen Montag, communication and public relations manager, 612.767.8038, firstname.lastname@example.org, @Minneapolis_PR on Twitter.