Minnesota Tourism Enjoys Moderate Growth in Summer Travel
Release Date: Sep 05, 2012
In the end-of-summer survey by Explore Minnesota Tourism, most businesses reported that occupancy this summer was the same (31%) or higher (46%) than last summer. More than 300 lodging and camping businesses responded to the survey. Overall, the survey results were more positive than those reported a year ago, and indicate a third year of moderate growth and continuing recovery from the impacts of the recession. More than half (53%) of those surveyed saw an increase in summer revenues. Overall, room revenues at Minnesota lodging businesses were four to five percent higher this June and July than they were a year ago, according to STR (Smith Travel Research, Inc.). This summer, for the first time, inflation-adjusted lodging revenues in Minnesota exceeded pre-recession levels.
In addition to more lodging business, there are other indications of increased travel, as well. For the first six months of the year, the number of visitors stopping at the state’s highway Travel Information Centers was up 5 percent. The number of users of the state’s travel website was up a whopping 26 percent this year. And a sampling of tourist attractions contacted by Explore Minnesota Tourism indicated that, for most, visits this summer were the same or higher than last summer.
Eighty percent of accommodation businesses surveyed indicated that that they were in good financial health; 80 percent also indicated that they expected fall occupancy to be the same or better than last fall. Several ongoing trends that developed during the recession are still having an impact on tourism in Minnesota. Consumers continue to travel closer to home, plan trips at the last minute, and look for deals and discounts.
A summary report of results is posted here, and graphs of results are posted here. Results for some questions were rebalanced to reflect Minnesota’s distribution of properties by accommodation type. Thanks to all those who took the time to respond to the survey.
See the story on the summer tourism season in the September 4 edition of the Star Tribune, based in part on a news release issued by Explore Minnesota Tourism: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/travel/168415186.html.