Media // News Releases // Press Release

For Immediate Release
State of Minnesota

Media Contact(s):

Alyssa Hayes, Explore Minnesota
O: 651-757-185 // [email protected]

Shelli Lissick, Bellmont Partners
O: 651-276-6922 // [email protected]

Explore Minnesota Again This Summer as Tourism Businesses Re-open

Tourism Recovery Efforts and Travel Trends in Minnesota for 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn. (June 30, 2020) Just in time for Independence Day weekend, Minnesota's tourism industry has started to gradually re-open, encouraging travelers to safely explore Minnesota again. Businesses across the state have implemented new safety and sanitizing procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are ready to welcome visitors. Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism promotion office, is supporting the industry with tourism marketing recovery efforts.

"After a challenging few months, recent Explore Minnesota consumer survey findings show there's some pent up demand to travel within the state this summer," said John Edman, state tourism director, Explore Minnesota. "Minnesota offers many close-to-home getaways, and tourism businesses across the state have taken great strides to make visitor safety a priority, implementing strict health safety protocols for those who are ready to ease back into travel. We're all working together to offer travelers great summer vacation options – they just look a little different this year."

The re-opening coincides with the launch of Explore Minnesota's new recovery tourism marketing campaign, which invites travelers to explore Minnesota again when the time is right for them. The campaign's imagery of Minnesota's open spaces and outdoor experiences aims to help travelers regain a sense of comfort and normalcy while showcasing locations that allow for social distancing. The new campaign features a new television spot entitled "See You Soon" and digital ads running in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and across Minnesota. Additional target markets include Chicago and Omaha. The TV spot features "Little Blue World" by Minnesota-based musician Jeremy Messersmith.

The call to get out and #ExploreMNAgain is resonating for some travelers. According to a recent survey conducted by Explore Minnesota, many Minnesotans and those living in the Midwest are ready to travel again, with 62.5% of respondents indicating they have at least tentative plans to take a summer leisure trip, and 50% have at least tentative plans for fall travel.

Increased Safety Precautions
To ensure the health and safety of their guests and visitors, tourism businesses and destinations throughout Minnesota have enacted a bevy of new policies and procedures such as enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols, social distancing guidelines, capacity limits, contactless check-in and check-out, and more. Explore Minnesota provides updates for travelers and businesses on its COVID-19 travel hub.  

#ExploreMNAgain: Summer 2020 Travel Trends
As the Fourth of July holiday approaches and locations begin to re-open, many tourism businesses have seen a surge of interest from visitors wanting to take trips close-to-home. Here are some ways to safely #ExploreMNAgain this summer:

  1. Road Trips: In the recent Explore Minnesota consumer survey, 82% of respondents said they were planning road trips for their next leisure trip. Hitting the road in a car is a great way to explore a wide variety of destinations and unique roadside attractions. Road trips (such as along one of Minnesota's 22 scenic byways) offer travelers a great deal of control over their stops and interactions along the way.
  2. Drive-Ins: There's no better time than the present to plan a trip to see a drive-in movie or stop by one of the state's many car-side dining restaurants! These drive-up establishments provide a healthy serving of nostalgia along with entertainment and tasty eats for the whole family.
  3. Outdoor Dining: To keep guests and staff safe this summer, restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries across Minnesota are flexing their creativity to provide ample outdoor space for diners or cook up unique takeout options to enjoy at home. Check out this list of ways to dine outside this summer.   
  4.   Resorts and Camping: Thousands of the state's resorts and campgrounds have been hit hard by the pandemic but have bounced back with renewed interest and a surge in reservations. Extensive cleaning and social distancing protocols make these classic summer getaways possible. Minnesota is also home to several secluded backpacking campsites, including those in Minnesota State Parks, Boundary Water Canoe Area and Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park.
  5. Houseboats: Renting a houseboat on one of Minnesota's beautiful bodies of water provides travelers with the opportunity to explore the area while limiting interactions with others. These "floating cabins" can be found in areas across the state, such as Voyageurs National Park, Lake Vermilion and Superior National Forest.
  6. Golf: With nearly 500 golf courses in the state, there's no better place to hit the links! Courses are taking precautions to keep golfers and employees safe, from spreading out tee-times, removing course amenities like bunker rakes, ball washers and water coolers, and one person (or one household) per cart rule.
  7. Enjoy Nature: Whether you're biking, hiking, chasing waterfalls, paddleboarding, canoeing, picnicking, boating, slacklining or exploring one of the nation's greatest state parks systems, spending time outdoors is one of Minnesota's premier pastimes. And you can't go wrong fishing in the land of 10,000+ lakes – Minnesota offers some of the country's best freshwater fishing.

These trends are just some of the many ways to #ExploreMNAgain this summer, with many more safe travel activities awaiting. Explore Minnesota can help travelers plan their trips for free at 888-VISITMN, or via live chat, email and at exploreminnesota.com.

###

About Explore Minnesota
As the state's tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state's tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. Tourism is a  $16.0 billion industry in Minnesota, and a key sector of the state's economy, and summer accounts for 37% of travel expenditures. The leisure and hospitality industry employs nearly 273,000 workers, representing 11 percent of Minnesota's private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates $1.0 billion of the state's sales tax revenues. Minnesota welcomes more than 73 million domestic and international travelers annually.

Find Your True North at exploreminnesota.com, and share it with @exploreminn on Twitter, or @exploreminnesota on Instagram and Facebook, using #OnlyinMN and #ExploreMNAgain.