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Growing tourism economy critical to area

Growing tourism economy critical to area

Last week, Explore Minnesota — the state’s tourism promotion office — announced its largest-ever marketing effort to boost tourism in our great state. The new campaign includes a revamped website, social media efforts and great new ads in more media markets than ever before.

This new marketing effort is a direct result of the budget provision I authored to increase Explore Minnesota’s funding. While Minnesota still spends less in tourism marketing than our neighboring states, this boost in funding is a step in the right direction and will greatly improve our tourism reach.

And tourism is a critical component to Minnesota’s economy. Tourism is a $12.5 billion industry and the leisure and hospitality industry employs more than 245,000 workers — 11 percent of Minnesota’s private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality generate 17 percent of our state’s sales tax revenues and every $1 invested in state tourism marketing returns an estimated $8 in state and local taxes, and $84 in consumer spending by travelers who visit Minnesota.

In Crow Wing County, the leisure and hospitality industry makes up more than $200 million in gross sales and employs nearly 4,000 people.

We live in an incredible state, with attractions and experiences that can only be found in Minnesota. Spreading the word and growing our tourism industry is good for our area and good for our state.

As always, feel free contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. You can reach me at or at 651-296-4333.

Rep. John Ward,


District 10A

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889