Minnesota Tourism Industry 'Visits' Duluth

Jan 30, 2014

Explore Minnesota Tourism

Media contact:
Alyssa Ebel, Explore Minnesota Tourism
651-757-1857 / alyssa.ebel@state.mn.us

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Feb. 4 – 5

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Jan. 30, 2014) – The Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, to be held at Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) next Tuesday, Feb. 4 and Wednesday, Feb. 5, will focus on marketing trends and tactics for an industry that generates nearly $12.5 billion in sales annually in Minnesota.

Conference attendees will get a sneak peek at an all-new 2014 Explore Minnesota marketing campaign, featuring unique travel experiences, activities and attractions that can only be found in Minnesota. The campaign will include a series of new television ads and social media tactics to engage both travelers and tourism industry professionals. It provides an opportunity to differentiate Minnesota from other Midwestern destinations.

"The overall state of tourism is bright; the Minnesota tourism industry is optimistic and looks forward to continued growth," notes John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism. "With an increased tourism marketing budget, we're able to implement new creative strategies, increase advertising reach and expand geographical and niche markets, domestically and internationally," Edman adds.

Other conference topics and speakers include: Michelle Kelm-Helgen of Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, to discuss growing Minnesota's images as a sports destination; Charles Zelle, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Transportation; John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism; and Steve Parker Jr. of Levelwing, to discuss travel advertising strategy. Sessions will highlight culinary travel, sports marketing, digital trends and tips for 2014, Minnesota's image vs. the competition and more.

The annual tourism conference draws about 300 participants from around the state, including representatives of convention and visitors bureaus and other tourism promotion organizations; hotels, resorts and campgrounds; and a variety of attractions, such as museums, zoos and historic sites.

The conference is being held at the DECC, and Visit Duluth is sponsoring the conference opening reception. Conference registration is $279, with lower rates for single day attendance. For more details, visit www.industry.exploreminnesota.com and follow @exploreminn via Twitter for conference updates, using #EMTConf14.

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As the state's tourism promotion 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 a $12.5 billion industry in Minnesota, a key sector of the state's economy. The leisure and hospitality industry, a major provider of tourism services, employs over 245,000, representing 11 percent of private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 17 percent of state sales tax revenues.