Minneapolis (May 7, 2018) – The “cool” quotient for Minneapolis as a travel destination keeps growing, supported by new data on the increasing numbers of annual visitors. A new study released today by Meet Minneapolis, and conducted by DK Shifflet, reveals more than 33 million people visited the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area in 2017, breaking the previous year’s record by 2.5%, which had been an all-time high. In addition to new visitor totals, the new research also shows spending increased to record levels – up 2.6% to $7.8 billion last year compared to $7.6 billion in 2016.
“The numbers tell a compelling story about tourism and the economy for Minneapolis and St. Paul. Our travel and hospitality industry supported nearly 35,000 jobs* in Minneapolis in 2017. That’s the fourth-largest industry, in terms of jobs, in Minneapolis,” said Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant. “The number of visitors and visitor spending directly supports jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry, plus it adds millions of dollars to the city’s economy in tax revenues.”
By the numbers:
- 33.3 million total Minneapolis/St. Paul visitors in 2017 compared to 32.5 million in 2016
- $7.8 billion in total visitor spending in 2017; in 2016 it was $7.6 billion
Tennant specifically pointed to the city’s tourism master plan as a component of the success in attracting more visitors and its ongoing role in future increases in leisure and business travelers to Minneapolis. One of eight initiatives outlined in the tourism master plan is to attract 50 million annual visitors by 2030.
The new data on visitors is positive news for local travel, hospitality and tourism professionals who are marking National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) May 6, through May 12. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel is a $2.4 trillion industry in the U.S., and visitors support 15.6 million American jobs—roughly 8.8 million direct travel jobs and 6.8 million indirect jobs. During this week, Meet Minneapolis is working with its partners on educational opportunities that specifically highlight the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
“We are very fortunate in Minneapolis to be enjoying national and international exposure thanks to events such as the Super Bowl, ESPN X Games, upcoming WNBA All-Star Game and next year’s NCAA Men’s Final Four,” added Tennant. “In addition, our vibrant neighborhoods, incredible amenities and transformed infrastructure will continue to attract more and more business and leisure travelers in the months and years to come."
* Number has been updated due to new data available as of Aug. 1
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 to the greater Minneapolis area.
Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of Destinations International.
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Kim Insley, Meet Minneapolis Public Relations and Communication Manager, 612-767-8118
Or email MeetMinneapolisPR@Minneapolis.org