The international target markets for Explore Minnesota Tourism are: Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Nordic Countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.
Annual travel spending by Canadians in Minnesota grew 6% to $359 million in 2012. In our largest international market, overnight travel was up 3% to nearly 700 thousand person-visits and overnight travel spending was up 12% to $255 million in 2012. Shopping, attending events and attractions and visiting friends or relatives were key reasons for travel here. One-third of our Canadian visitors came in the July-September period.
Explore Minnesota Tourism is an active partner in three multi-state marketing organizations, formed to promote to specific overseas markets. Resources are pooled to maximize impact:
- Mississippi River Country includes the 10 states along the Mississippi River. The primary target market is Japan.
- Great Lakes of North America, including Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, works to develop international travel to the Great Lakes region. Primary target markets are Germany and the United Kingdom.
The Travel Trade unit is also responsible for promoting Minnesota in the group tour and packaged travel market. In addition to the baby boomers, there is a steadily growing student and youth market, either as part of school curriculum, a sporting event or other special interest.
Travel Trade regularly reviews trends that aid in introducing new targeted markets of travelers to Minnesota. Ease of travel documents, increased flight service and growing ethnic ties can all play a role in increased opportunities. Current nations showing potential include Brazil and other Latin American countries, South Korea and Australia.