Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalitioin applauds funding | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalitioin applauds funding

Posted: January 25, 2013 - 8:50pm

The Minnesota Growth Coalition applauds Gov. Mark Dayton’s funding recommendation for Explore Minnesota Tourism of about $16 million for each of the next two fiscal years.

Tourism in the state of Minnesota is an $11.9 billion industry, supporting 240,000 leisure and hospitality jobs, which represents 11 percent of private-sector employment. In addition, tourism generates nearly $769 million in state sales tax revenues, which is 17 percent of Minnesota’s sales tax revenues.

From 2003 to 2011, state sales tax revenue from leisure and hospitality grew 41 percent, while those from all other industries grew just 16 percent.

Today, Minnesota’s tourism office funding level ranks 30th nationally and far below regional competitors like Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Illinois. Results show that every $1 invested in state tourism marketing generates $53 in gross sales, according to Governor Dayton’s budget documents.

“We thank Governor Dayton for recognizing that investing in tourism promotion is critical to Minnesota’s economic health and well- being. Minnesota needs to invest in tourism to stay competitive, attract more out-of-state visitors and grow Minnesota’s tourism business,” said Lisa Paxton, Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition chairwoman in a news release.

“Members of the coalition look forward to working with Gov. Dayton and the Legislature as this budget proposal moves forward during the 2013 legislative session.”’

The Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition was created to coordinate activities to increase the marketing budget for Explore Minnesota Tourism through an increase in awareness of the importance of the tourism industry in Minnesota.

The coalition has support from more than 90 tourism organizations and businesses from throughout the state, including the Brainerd Lakes Chamber.