It's been a strange, difficult year all the way around - no matter what industry you're talking about.  But that doesn't mean that there haven't been gains and bright spots.

Recently, Explore Minnesota released the preliminary results of their annual post-summer survey.  The data obtained from Minnesota's lodging business and destination marketing organizations offer a clearer picture of the current travel and business impact of the past few months since the COVID-19 Pandemic-related shutdown.

The bright spots:

  • Greater Minnesota reported stronger tourism business than the metro region
  • Nearly one-third (33%) of respondents said that business activity has surpassed pre-COVID levels or has returned to pre-COVID levels
  • In-state tourism (i.e. visits to Minnesota lodging by people who are already residents of the state) was up.  47% of the respondents reported that in-state visits represented a larger than usual share of their guests
  • Resorts and campgrounds reported better booking activity than hotels and motels
  • 29% of respondents said that their business was up

The sober news:

  • Minnesota saw a roughly $5 billion travel-spending loss from mid-March through August
  • Metro Minnesota's tourism business was off - primarily due to the major downturn in meeting, convention, and event business.
  • 21% of respondents don't anticipate their business returning to pre-COVID levels until 2022

A quick look ahead to the fall and winter tourism season sees these respondents anticipating a sluggish season - albeit one with guests who are traveling closer to home.  Destination Analysts shares that "[t]hose consumers are largely seeking travel experiences to spend time with loved ones, enjoy nature and avoid crowds".

To see more results of the survey and to learn more about the work that Explore Minnesota does to promote tourism in the state, click here.

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