Tourism Industry Achievements Highlighted at Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

Feb 06, 2019

State of Minnesota
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Tourism Industry Achievements Highlighted at
Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Feb. 6, 2019) —During the 2019 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, held at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel this week, several individuals, organizations and tourism businesses were recognized at the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Awards for their contributions to the state's $15.3 billion travel industry. Leadership award highlights include:
Anna Tanski, president/CEO of Visit Duluth, was named "Outstanding Individual in Tourism" for her years of work on behalf of the Minnesota tourism industry. In addition to serving on many local industry boards and commissions, she has been an active member of the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council and serves as president for the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition.
The "Friend of Tourism" award was presented to Jan Kroells, vice president of marketing at the Bloomington Convention and Visitor Bureau. In the last several years, Kroells has been involved in several important statewide initiatives, including serving on the 2016 Ryder Cup tourism committee, the Minnesota Super Bowl tourism committee and is currently planning promotional activity for Bloomington around the 2019 NCAA Final Four.
Megan Christianson, executive director of Visit Grand Rapids, was presented with the "Tourism Rising Star" award. Christianson is an active voice for the Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, Explore Minnesota Tourism Council and Minnesota Arrowhead Association, and currently serves as secretary/treasurer for the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition.
Additional awards were presented in the following categories:
Only in MN Award Recipients:
Tourism Trailblazer Award: Cynthya Porter, Visit Winona
New Event of the Year: 2018 Detroit Lakes Ice Palace, Ice Harvest Committee
Only in MN Icon Award: Minnesota State Fair
Marketing Partner of the Year: Destination Medical Center E.D.A., Rochester
Destination Marketing Award Recipients:
Branding and Marketing Campaign: Visit Saint Paul
Niche Targeting: Pine River Area Foundation
Niche Targeting: Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
Social Media Campaign: Visit Winona
Special Project: Visit Lakeville
Special Project: Experience Rochester MN
Special Project: Meet Minneapolis
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. A council of representatives from the state's tourism industry strongly connects Explore Minnesota with tourism businesses and organizations.
Tourism is a $15.3 billion industry in Minnesota, and is 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.
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