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Media Advisory
State of Minnesota

Media Contact(s):

Alyssa Hayes, Explore Minnesota
// C: 651-276-8738 // [email protected]

Meredith Kessler, Weber Shandwick
O: 651-308-6224 // [email protected]

New Tourism Director and State Leaders Kick Off Annual Tourism Conference

WHAT:                 New State Tourism Director Lauren Bennett McGinty kicks off annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference by addressing the Minnesota travel industry


WHEN:                 Tuesday, March 1, from 9 to 10 a.m.    



  • Lauren Bennett McGinty, state tourism director, Explore Minnesota 
  • Minnesota Gophers Head Football Coach P.J. Fleck, Adam Sacks with Tourism Economics and several speakers on tourism impact and strategy
  • Hundreds of representatives around the state, from convention and visitors bureaus and other tourism organizations; hotels, resorts and campgrounds; and a variety of attractions



Sheraton Minneapolis West Hotel, 12201 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305*

*Attending media are required to check-in at conference registration desk, located at hotel entrance. Please refer to Explore Minnesota's COVID-19 policy below.



  • At approx. 9:15 a.m., Lauren Bennett McGinty, Explore Minnesota state tourism director, will report on the state's tourism industry outlook for 2022 and new forward-looking strategies to rebound from $12 billion in travel spending losses, including highlights of the office's strategic direction and a new travel marketing campaign.
  • Virtual remarks from U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.
  • Keynote speeches from local and national thought leaders, including Adam Sacks with Tourism Economics, Minnesota Gophers Head Football Coach P.J. Fleck, Amanda Brinkman with Deluxe Small Business Revolution, Peter Slatin on accessibility and more.



  • Media/camera setup time: 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. 
  • Please read Explore Minnesota's Conference COVI9-19 Policy: Explore Minnesota is taking strict COVID-19 safety measures. All conference attendees, including media representatives and photographers, will be required to show proof of vaccination, plus booster, or a medically supervised negative COVID-19 test. Masks will also be required or provided on-site, specifically a KN95, KF94, or N95 mask.
  • For more details about the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, including post-conference remarks and session recordings, visit