Minnesota Tourism Industry Achievements Honored
Release Date: Jan 25, 2012
Rochester, MN (January 25, 2012) – During the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, several individuals, organizations, and businesses were recognized for their contributions to the state's travel industry.
Cole Carley, President and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, was named "Outstanding Individual in Tourism" for his long-term work on behalf of the Minnesota tourism industry at all levels, from locally and regionally to nationally and internationally. Carley served as president of the Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, was instrumental in founding the Upper Midwest Convention and Visitors Bureau, and has served with both the Minnesota Tourism Advisory Council and the Minnesota Tourism Promotion Coalition. He has also been active in the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus and the Destination Marketing Association International.
Senator Amy Klobuchar and Linda Fryer, director of the Ely Chamber of Commerce, both received "Friend of Tourism" awards for significant contributions to the Minnesota travel and tourism industry. Senator Klobuchar has worked in the interest of tourism both in Minnesota and at the national level, working to pass legislation that will help draw international visitors to the U.S. Fryer has creatively and successfully promoted Ely as a destination, and has also been active at the regional and state levels on tourism development.
Awards are also given annually to note creative, successful tourism marketing programs by Minnesota communities. This year's Travel Marketing Award of Excellence went to the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau for a promotion that used their "Fargo" movie fame to attract visitors. Marketing Awards of Merit were presented to the Eagan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mall of America, and the International Falls, Rainy Lake and Ranier Convention and Visitors Bureau.
About Explore Minnesota Tourism
As the state's tourism office, Explore Minnesota Tourism pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state's tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. A council of representatives from the state's tourism industry strongly connects Explore Minnesota Tourism with tourism businesses and organizations.
Tourism is an $11.3 billion industry in Minnesota, a key sector of the state's economy. The leisure and hospitality industry, a major provider of tourism services, employs more than 235,000, representing 11 percent of private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 17 percent of state sales tax revenues.
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