U.S. Travel's "Vote Travel" Bus Tour Stops at Mall of America® in Bloomington, Minn. to Promote Tourism

Apr 06, 2012, 12:33 ET from Mall of America

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., April 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Travel Association's "Vote Travel" bus tour made its only Minnesota stop at Mall of America®. U.S. Travel launched the national bus tour in Washington, DC on March 21, and will travel more than 20,000 miles, making 37 stops in destinations such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas and Bloomington, Minn.  The bus tour aims to boost the visibility of the travel industry.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120406/CG83603)

Bloomington, Minn., which is home to the Mall, is often referred to as the City of Hospitality. There are more than 20,000 people working in the hospitality industry in the city. Great attractions, fine dining, convenient location and the beauty of nature combine to make Bloomington the perfect destination.

"This event gives us an opportunity to talk about Bloomington and the importance of tourism to the entire region," says Bonnie Carlson, President & CEO, Bloomington, MN Convention & Visitors Bureau and Chairman Circle Board Member of U.S. Travel Association. "Our city is known for warmly welcoming tourists from around the world. Whether a visitor is from Des Moines, Denmark or Dubai they can be assured they will have a great visit in Bloomington. That hospitality reflects well on the entire region."

Travel industry representatives and public officials visited the bus during the visit to Mall of America. The effort is to highlight Vote Travel's policy priorities including measures that reduce visa hassles associated with travel, promote small businesses within the industry, encourage increased U.S. investment in promoting travel, make America more competitive globally and keep the business and meetings industry thriving.

"Tourism is vital to Minnesota's economy," states John Edman, Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism. "The tourism industry generates more than $31 million every day in sales and it employs more than 235,000. It is fitting the bus stop was at Mall of America since it is the number one tourist destination in the state."

The event included remarks by Bonnie Carlson, President & CEO, Bloomington, MN Convention & Visitors Bureau and Chairman Circle Board Member of U.S. Travel Association, Karen Nordstrom, Bloomington City Council Member, John Edman, Director, Explore Minnesota Tourism and Dave Haselman, Executive Vice President, Mall of America.

About Mall of America®

Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex. At 4.2 million square feet, MOA is home to more than 520 world-class shops; Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation's largest indoor family amusement park; SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; Moose Mountain Adventure Golf; Theatres at Mall of America® - a 14-screen movie theater with VIP theatre and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Follow Mall of America on Facebook and Twitter or visit our blog.

About Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau is the marketing organization for the City of Bloomington and aggressively markets our premier destination to visitors around the world. Bloomington is located adjacent to Minneapolis and Saint Paul, just minutes from the International Airport.  Bloomington is home of Mall of America, and is a premier destination for meetings, conventions, and tourism. For visitor information, special offers and to book hotels visit bloomingtonmn.org.

About Explore Minnesota Tourism

As the state's tourism office, Explore Minnesota Tourism 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 Tourism with tourism businesses and organizations. Tourism is an $11.3 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 235,000, representing 11 percent of private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 17 percent of state sales tax revenues.

SOURCE Mall of America