The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area saw 32.5 million total visitors in 2016, a 2.8 percent increase over 2015’s 31.6 million convention and leisure travel visitors, which is a new all-time record for the area. Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, announced that a study conducted by DKShifflet shows that both the number of visitors and visitor spending increased yet again in 2016. This news arrives as the hospitality industry celebrates the 34th annual National Travel & Tourism Week that concludes tomorrow.
Visitors spent $7.6 billion in the area, an increase of 1 percent over 2015, when spending was $7.5 billion. The number of leisure visitors alone increased 4 percent to 23.4 million in 2016 from 22.5 million in 2015, with their spending increasing to $5.3 billion, or almost 2 percent over $5.2 billion spent in 2015.
“I sound like a broken record, but it’s all true: Minneapolis continues to set all-time hospitality records,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. “Travel and related spending continue to increase in our own community, just as it is across the nation, where travel is one of America’s strongest industries.” Travel and tourism generates $2.3 trillion for the U.S. economy.
National Travel & Tourism Week gives the industry an opportunity to shine a light on what travel means to jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. Travel employs a prosperous and diverse workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, and supports related sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance.
“Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including 34,870 jobs right here in the city of Minneapolis, or 10 percent of the local workforce,” said Tennant. “This week, we are celebrating these workers and what travel means to our community.”