ST. PAUL, Minn., May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many Minnesota tourism businesses and destinations expect the summer tourism season to be better than last year, according to a recent poll by Explore Minnesota Tourism, the state tourism office.
Among the more than 300 lodging and camping businesses across the state responding to the survey, more than a third expect an uptick in business this year. However, there are still concerns amid the cautious optimism, as consumers keep a close watch on their pocketbooks. Businesses report that travelers are planning trips at the last minute, and are searching for deals and discounts.
"The tourism industry as a whole is more optimistic than it has been in some time," says John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism. "Consumers are becoming more confident in the economy, and there's a pent-up desire for travel. Folks will be more willing to get away this summer, though they are still looking for good vacation values."
In 2009, Minnesota lodging properties experienced a more than five percent drop in room demand, and an even greater drop in revenues as room rates declined. So far this year, however, the picture is improving.
Nationally, the U.S. Travel Association is anticipating a modest recovery in domestic travel in the U.S., forecasting a two percent increase in travel this year. In general, the travel industry isn't expected to recover to pre-recession levels until next year.
Nevertheless, Minnesota destinations are hopeful that they can attract visitors who will be looking for affordable, nearby getaways this summer. Lower cost activities such as fairs and festivals, state parks and trails, and camping should be popular again this summer. Advertising by Explore Minnesota Tourism is focusing on nearby markets, and emphasizing the need to take a real break from everyday routines and stress. Consumer inquiries to Explore Minnesota Tourism in response to its advertising were up significantly this spring.
About Explore Minnesota Tourism
As the state's tourism office, Explore Minnesota Tourism pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state's tourism investment with involvement by the private sector. A council of representatives from the state's tourism industry strongly connects Explore Minnesota Tourism with tourism businesses and organizations. Tourism is an $11 billion industry in Minnesota, a key sector of the state's economy. The leisure and hospitality industry, a major provider of tourism services, employs more than 245,000 Minnesotans. More information can be found at exploreminnesota.com.
Contact: Joan Hummel
Explore Minnesota Tourism
SOURCE Explore Minnesota Tourism