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Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Area Visited by 32.5 Million in 2016, a New All-time Record

Via a May 8 News Release from Meet Minneapolis:

Meet Minneapolis-commissioned study shows increased visitor counts and spending as industry celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week

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 today 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 (May 7-13, 2017).

Those 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. Full details are available online.

“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.”

Meet Minneapolis celebrates with other tourism organizations nationally by conducting a program for partners that includes educational information for the summer convention season, including this July’s X Games, updates on the Tourism Master Plan and a tour of some key tourism sites in the city.

The program will also include an update on the Tourism Master Plan. The Tourism Master Plan includes multiple goals to enhance Minneapolis’ tourism economy. It includes a goal of 50 million visitors by 2030 and support of 40,000 hospitality-related jobs.


Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area. Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.

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