Media // News Releases // Press Release

For Immediate Release
State of Minnesota

Media Contact(s):

Alyssa Hayes, Explore Minnesota
O: 651-757-1857 // [email protected]

Erica Wacker, Explore Minnesota
O: 651-757-1862 // [email protected]

Minnesota Tourism Industry Wraps Up Hot Summer Season

Couple relaxing with dog on dock

It doesn't get much better than relaxing at the lake

Explore Minnesota Survey Reveals Successful Summer, Optimistic Fall Outlook

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Aug. 27, 2019) — Leading into Labor Day weekend, Minnesota lodging properties are winding down from another strong summer of travel activity according to a recent survey conducted by Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism promotion office. Results from the annual post-summer survey continue a positive trend of tourism business in Minnesota.

Summer revenue was up for almost half (49%) of survey respondents and occupancy was up for 42% of respondents compared to summer 2018. By comparison, 24% of respondents said revenue was down, and 26% reported decreased summer occupancy. Overall, 80% of respondents rated their current financial health as growing (29%) or stable, but positive (51%). The survey was completed by 300 Minnesota lodging businesses, including hotels and motels, resorts, B&Bs, campgrounds and vacation home rentals.

The summer travel season in Minnesota accounts for 37% of annual expenditures that contribute to a $15.3 billion tourism economy.

"These positive results indicate a strong economy and that statewide tourism promotion is helping to bring 73 million visitors to Minnesota every year," said John Edman, director/CEO of Explore Minnesota. "From the great outdoors to urban excitement, unique hidden gems and cultural activities, Minnesota offers appealing and affordable getaways for residents and visitors alike."

In addition, gas prices are expected to continue a downward trend through Labor Day, and Airlines for America projects a 4% increase in passengers flying on U.S. carriers over the holiday period.

The extended holiday weekend is quickly followed by fall and offers a good excuse for travelers to explore Minnesota's scenic byways, parks and trails, seasonal festivals, orchards, unique lodging properties and more. Explore Minnesota survey respondents' outlook for fall travel is optimistic, with 31% expecting revenue to be up and 28% expecting increased occupancy. By comparison, 14% of respondents expect revenue to be down and 15% expect occupancy to be down. Fall travel in Minnesota accounts for 25% of annual expenditures.

To encourage travelers to chase the colors this fall, Explore Minnesota and the Department of Natural Resources will offer weekly fall color updates starting Sept. 12.

"2019 has been a successful year for Minnesota tourism, and we hope the momentum will continue during Minnesota's second-busiest travel season," Edman said.

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 $15.3 billion industry in Minnesota, and a key sector of the state's economy. The leisure and hospitality industry–a major provider of tourism services–employs more than 270,000 workers, representing 11 percent of Minnesota's private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 18 percent of the state's sales tax revenues. Minnesota welcomes more than 73 million domestic and international travelers annually.

A video highlighting Minnesota's tourism and economic impact can be viewed here.

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