Release Date: September 19, 2019
Metrics include data for the most current available month, and year-to-date data through that month.
Updated on 9/19/19 with data through August 2019.
To comply with STR's conditions for re-publishing this data, EMT will replace the posted data with data for the subsequent month, when it is provided to EMT. This will typically take place approximately 18 to 20 days after the end of the month in question. At that time, only data for the new current month will be available. Lodging performance data for previous months and years can be purchased from STR.
Republication or other re-use of this data without the express written permission of STR is strictly prohibited.
- Overview: Results from a recent Explore Minnesota survey of Minnesota lodging and camping properties showed this summer to be another in a string of strong summer travel seasons. The informal survey showed summer 2019 occupancy and revenue levels to be up overall, compared with summer 2018. Positive results extended across all accommodation types. All regions of the state also experienced positive or neutral summer business levels. The positive results were achieved, despite the constraints room supply growth continues to impose on occupancy and room rate growth.
In addition, the survey also provided a positive assessment of business expectations for the upcoming fall season for all accommodation types and Minnesota regions, as well as a continuation of positive financial health among Minnesota accommodations. Open-ended responses attributed the successful summer to recent efforts to strengthen respondents’ marketing and social media strategies, good customer service, property renovations and improvements, and the sustained strength of the economy. Many respondents also noted challenges related to increased room supply and private vacation rentals.
- Summer 2019 (June through August) Occupancy and Revenue: Survey results indicated higher occupancy and revenue for summer 2019 compared with summer 2018. (Note: For this and other survey questions about year-over-year changes, only the direction but not the degree of change was ascertained.) For occupancy, a weighted average 42% of respondents reported that summer 2019 occupancy was up, 31% reported that it was the same and 26% reported that it was down compared with summer 2018. For revenue, a weighted average 49% of respondents reported that summer 2019 revenue was up, while 27% reported that it was the same and 24% reported that it was down from 2018. (Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding. Also, see the “rebalancing by accommodation type” section below for an explanation of weighted averages.) These results portray a strong summer for Minnesota travel. They also represent a continuation of uninterrupted strong Minnesota summer travel business growth in recent years, extending back to the beginning of the industry’s recovery from the Great Recession in 2010. This trend is consistent with a national trend over the same period.
All accommodation types experienced positive summer 2019 occupancy and revenue results, defined here as results where more respondents reported that occupancy or revenue was up than reported that occupancy or revenue was down. Campgrounds showed the strongest growth. Also, with one exception, each of Minnesota’s tourism regions had positive occupancy and revenue results. The exception was the central region, which saw positive revenue results but only neutral occupancy results, with the same number of respondents reporting that summer occupancy was up as reporting that summer occupancy was down.
The number of state park campsites and indoor units that were occupied from June 1 through August 15, 2019 was unchanged from a year earlier. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported just over 188,200 occupied campsites and indoor units over that period for each year. State parks, along with state and national forest campgrounds, were not included in Explore Minnesota’s summer survey.
The summer business growth reflected in survey results defies growing speculation over a looming recession. The results also indicate that businesses were able to overcome the negative impacts of continued supply growth on occupancy rates and room rates. While Minnesota’s room supply growth has long exceeded national growth rates, supply growth at Minnesota hotels and motels has experienced a recent geographic shift. Following an extended period of disproportionate metro room supply growth, gradually slowing metro supply growth and gradually increasing greater Minnesota supply growth have recently combined to result in similar metro and greater Minnesota supply growth rates.
- Expectations for Fall (September and October 2019): Respondents’ outlook for fall 2019 business levels was also quite positive. Weighted average expectations for fall 2019 occupancy compared with fall 2018 occupancy were as follows: up 28%; same 58%; and down 15%. Weighted average expectations results for fall 2019 revenue compared with fall 2018 revenue were: up 31%; same 55%; and down 14%. Relative to results for summer 2019 business levels, results for fall 2019 expectations shifted toward the middle (i.e., toward same) for both occupancy and revenue. Respondents provided more same responses for fall expectations (58% for same occupancy and 55% for same revenue) than for summer results (31% for same occupancy and 27% for same revenue). All accommodation types and regions reflected positive expectations for fall occupancy and fall revenue.
- Financial Health: Eight out of 10 (80% weighted average) respondents rated their business’s current financial health as positive. The 80% result was slightly lower than the summer 2018 positive financial health result (83%), but solidly in the upper half of the range of summer positive financial health results that have ranged between 69% and 87% since 2010. The positive responses included 29% “growing,” up from 27% a year ago, and 51% “stable, but positive,” down from 56% a year ago. Only 18% of respondents rated their financial health as negative, including 13% “stable, but negative” and 5% “declining.” Two percent of respondents did not know how to rate their current financial health. At least 70% of respondents from each accommodation type and at least 73% of respondents from each tourism region rated their financial health as positive.
- Trends and Other Comments: Open-ended questions asked about new and recurring trends in customer comments, and things that impacted summer business or may impact fall business. Positive themes among comments included the effects of the continued strong economy, though a few comments noted increased price sensitivity and financial worries expressed by guests. Similar to other recent surveys, respondents have reaped benefits from focusing on strengthening their marketing and social media strategies. Good customer service and property renovations/improvements received multiple mentions as strong contributors to business success and customer satisfaction. Numerous responses cited increased group business. Many comments addressed negative impacts of competition posed by private rentals. However, comments from an increasing number of traditional establishments in this and other recent surveys attribute some of their positive results to their use of private rental services to sell rooms.
Many outdoor-oriented businesses reflected on negative impacts of a second consecutive late spring and wet start of summer, but also to the benefit of exceptionally good weather as the season progressed. Nearby room supply increases hampered business levels for a number of respondents, while limited competition due to recent closings of nearby resorts benefitted a few resorts. Numerous comments noted problems related to workforce shortages, an increasingly prevalent theme. A few respondents cited the high cost of doing business, including taxes and fees. This survey included fewer political comments than other recent surveys, ranging from attribution of business success to President Trump’s policies to the uncertainty those policies and the political climate pose for the future of the economy and their business.
Many comments pointed to customers searching for the best possible deal, and having an increasingly easier time doing so online, including with their phones at the last minute. Customers continue to book with short notice, and have very high expectations for facilities and services, including Wi-Fi and all aspects of customer service. Respondents noted increased demand for one-night and partial-week stays at facilities that are not set up to accommodate them. While numerous respondents attributed some of their business success to a high level of repeat business, others noted challenges in that realm due to generational differences with younger customers being more interested in varied travel adventures that preclude repeat visits. Though largely absent from respondent comments, relatively low gas prices undoubtedly also contributed to summer travel levels.
- Survey Invitation Lists, and Response Rates: Explore Minnesota conducted an informal online survey in late August 2019, soliciting responses by email from 1,660 accommodations (indoor lodging properties and campgrounds) throughout Minnesota that have provided Explore Minnesota with an email address. A total of 300 responses were received for an 18.1% response rate. All but four respondents qualified to take the survey based on their response to a question confirming that they were open during the summer 2019 season. Of the 296 qualified respondents, 281 (95%) progressed through the core questions of the online questionnaire. Results reported here reflect self-reported data from all respondents.
- Responses by Accommodation Type: The distribution of survey responses by type of accommodation over-represented “other” accommodations including vacation home rentals and vacation properties (13% of responses, compared with vacation home rentals representing 6% of the distribution of accommodations). The distribution of survey responses also over-represented B&B/historic inns (8% of responses, 7% of distribution). Thirty-six percent of responses were from hotels/motels, the same portion as this sector represents in the total distribution of accommodations. . The distribution of survey responses under-represented resorts (33% of responses, 36% of distribution) and campgrounds (11% of responses, 15% of distribution).
- Rebalancing by Accommodation Type: Results for most survey questions were rebalanced to minimize the distortion caused by substantial over- or under-representation of respondents in some accommodation types. Weighted average results reflect Minnesota’s distribution of properties by accommodation type (found above under “responses by accommodation type”).
- Responses by Region: Two of Minnesota’s five tourism regions were over-represented by survey respondents – northeast, with 31% of responses compared with 23% of Minnesota’s total distribution of accommodations; and central, with 26% of responses compared with 22% of distribution. Three regions were under-represented – northwest with 12% of responses compared with 19% of the total distribution of accommodations; the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region, with 12% of responses compared with 17% of distribution; and southern, with 18% of responses compared with 19% of distribution.
- Summary statistics for the survey can be viewed online at Results for Survey Questions.
Previous Seasonal Industry Survey Reports
Annual Minnesota Accommodations and Attractions Database Comparisons, beginning with 2002. Some lodging categories have changed over the years. Attractions were added in 2010, and appear as the last page of the report.
View the report here.
This article and graphs are provided under permission granted by STR, Inc., the source of the data.
Minnesota lodging experienced growth in room supply and demand, but declines in four metrics during the first half of 2019. The modest lodging boost provided by the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April was not enough to compensate for the stronger negative impact of the 2018 Super Bowl on 2019 year-over-year comparisons. The year started with big early declines for most metrics, then shifted to growth for all metrics in March and April before moderating in May and June. Statewide room supply growth remained strong throughout the first half of 2019. Two sets of graphs, with links below, show changes in Minnesota’s lodging metrics for the first half of 2019 and monthly for the last 12 months.
First Half 2019 Lodging Performance Changes for Minnesota, the U.S., the Region and Minnesota Areas – Four of Minnesota’s six lodging metrics saw negative growth during the first half of 2019. The declines were modest, in comparison with double-digit first quarter declines that were substantially impacted by last year’s Super Bowl. Second half changes included declines in occupancy (-1.4%), average daily room rates (-2.3%), revenue per available room (i.e., RevPAR, -3.7%) and revenue (-1.2%). Statewide first half demand growth was positive (1.1%), as was room supply growth (2.6%). Room supply growth was concentrated in and around Minneapolis (i.e., including Minneapolis north and Minneapolis south areas), as well as in the St. Cloud/I-94 corridor and southern Minnesota, exclusive of Rochester and Mankato.
With the exception of room supply growth, the U.S. and the seven-state West North Central U.S. region saw stronger first half 2019 lodging growth than Minnesota for the remaining five metrics. Greater Minnesota first half growth exceeded metro area growth for all lodging metrics except supply. Among Minnesota’s 11 distinct market areas (i.e., five in the metro and six in greater Minnesota), each of the five metro areas displayed impacts of Super Bowl LII in first half 2019 declines in occupancy and all revenue-related metrics. Three southern Minnesota areas were the only areas that saw first half RevPAR growth. Among greater Minnesota areas, Mankato experienced the strongest first half growth in four metrics and Duluth experienced the weakest first half growth in four metrics..
Year-over-year first half changes in Minnesota lodging metrics (i.e., 2019 compared with 2018) and 2018 compared with 2017 (in parentheses) were:
Month-by-Month Lodging Performance for Minnesota – The first half of 2019 included big Super Bowl-related dips in January and February lodging metrics. Most metrics bounced back in March, aided by a calendar shift for Easter, and spiked in April when the NCAA Men’s Final Four landed in Minneapolis. May and June saw relatively weaker growth in most metrics. Prior to that, the last six months of 2018 saw relatively stable and mostly positive lodging performance, including especially strong growth in October before the year ended with weaker growth in November and December. Strong room supply growth over the last 12 months has kept occupancy rates in check, and posed revenue-related challenges for properties that are reluctant to raise rates in areas with expanded room supply. Statewide supply growth peaked at 3.5% in November 2018, then spiked again for a single month at 3.2% in May 2019.
Click below for accompanying graphs of Minnesota lodging performance (repeats of links from above):
Detailed June and year-to-date lodging metrics for Minnesota can be viewed online for a limited time on the Research Reports page, under STR Lodging Performance Metrics. (Note: The most current available monthly lodging metrics are replaced by data for the subsequent month when they are provided by STR.)
Previous Quarterly Lodging Performance Reports
Release Date: June 17, 2019
Minnesota Resorts Continue Trend of Increased Sales, Declining Number of Properties in 2017
Sales and state sales tax at Minnesota resorts grew for the eighth consecutive year in 2017. This growth occurred even as the number of resorts declined, just as it has every year since consistent annual resort reporting resumed in 2004. According to a recently released report from the Minnesota Department of Revenue, gross sales increased 2.1% to $306.3 million in 2017 and state sales tax increased 1.6% to $18.6 million. This continued a trend of annual growth in resort sales and state sales tax that started in 2010. The number of Minnesota resorts reported for 2017 (i.e., 716) represented a decrease of 24 resorts (-3.2%), following a similar annual decline of 28 resorts (-3.6%) in 2016. Between 2004 and 2017, gross sales at Minnesota resorts increased 34.5% while the number of resorts decreased 27.2%.
The following three graphs show a timeline of gross sales, state sales tax and number of Minnesota resorts from 2004 through 2017, including regional and statewide totals. (Resort data in the graphs is available in a series of annual reports, accessible via links found immediately below the graphs. The reports include county level detail.) The graphs depict growth through 2007, followed by recession-related declines in 2008 and 2009 before a return to growth in 2010. Four regions through 2006 were replaced by five regions starting in 2007 after reconfiguration of tourism regions. Since then, resort activity has been similar for each of the three northern regions (i.e., northwest, central and northeast regions), as evidenced by the close proximity of their lines on the graphs.
Total sales activity at the relatively few metro and southern region resorts has been considerably lower than for northern regions, as evidenced by the overlapping metro and southern region lines at the bottom of the graphs through 2010. Starting in 2011, the small amount of remaining metro resort activity was distributed equitably among the other regions in order to avoid disclosing specific information about them when the number of metro resorts dropped below four that year. The scale of southern regional activity makes it is hard to see that the southern region saw substantial declines in gross sales (-27%) and state sales tax (-42%) in 2017, along with the biggest proportional decline in the number of resorts (-16%) among regions. Southern was the only region to experience 2017 sales and tax declines.
Complete annual sales tax statistics for Minnesota resorts, by region and county, beginning with 2004. Two additional reports cover 1985 through 2000, one providing the number of resorts and the other providing gross sales at resorts for most of the years during this period. (Note: The Minnesota Department of Revenue did not provide resort reports for all of these years.)
2016 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2015 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2014 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2013 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2012 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2011 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2010 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2009 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2008 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2007 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2006 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2005 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
2004 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
1985 - 2000 Number of Minnesota Resorts, by County
1985 - 2000 Gross Sales at Minnesota Resorts, by County
Release Date: Jan 14, 2019
This report provides annual counts of international arrivals at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, based on their country of origin and world region. It is solely based on passenger itineraries and does not designate passenger nationality.
New starting with the 2017 report, passenger volume is broken down into the following categories:
o Origin (more likely to be visitors to the U.S.)
o Destination (more likely to be U.S. residents)
o Other (insufficient information to categorize as origin or destination).
While statistics reflect itinerary origins, they provide no indication of passenger nationality or residency. Also, U.S. residents returning from international travels are not differentiated from residents of other countries arriving for a visit to the United States.
As an example, a passenger may have started in South Africa, flew to India, then France and on to MSP. Previous to 2017, reports provided no indication about whether the passenger was more likely to be an international visitor to the U.S. versus a U.S. resident returning from South Africa. However, starting in 2017, origin versus destination categorization provides that indication, as long as the point of origin was discernible from a single (i.e., round trip) itinerary.
Release Date: Jan 11, 2019
Complete annual sales tax statistics reports for Minnesota's Leisure and Hospitality Industry, beginning with 2004. Includes Accommodations; Food Services and Drinking Places; and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation Industries, with a separate table in each annual report for each tourism region and county. The contents page (first page) serves as a guide to the geographic area(s) of interest to you.
2016 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2015 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2014 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2013 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2012 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2011 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2010 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2009 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2008 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2007 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2006 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2005 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
2004 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
These statewide and regional lists include attractions for which attendance was monitored and reported to Explore Minnesota. Attractions on the lists are ranked by attendance and feature things to see or do that are entertaining, recreational or educational in nature, and cater to tourists. Additional information about the lists is provided in notes at the bottom of each list.
Release Date: September 17, 2018
Release Date: Feb 28, 2019
Minnesota 2018 Tourism Advertising ROI Research, by Longwoods International, describes the research objectives and methodology, the campaign that was being evaluated and the findings. This report also includes the "Halo Effect" results from the Minnesota spring/summer 2017 campaign, along with survey results for social media and information sources used for travel planning.
A survey-based study of consumers in Minnesota's advertising markets provided fundamental strategic insights about the image of Minnesota, compared with a set of six competing states - Wisconsin, South Dakota, Michigan, Colorado, Illinois and Missouri.
The study also addressed the return on investment (ROI) of Explore Minnesota Tourism's spring/summer 2017 advertising campaign. The study provided estimates of incremental travel, travel spending and direct state and local taxes generated by the advertising campaign. These measures were combined with Explore Minnesota's investment in the campaign to arrive at estimates of the return on investment for travel spending and taxes.
This study also investigated the impact of travel advertising and visitation have on Minnesota's economic development image - the "halo effect." Results showed that both awareness of Explore Minnesota's advertising and actual travel to Minnesota in the past year had significant positive impacts on people's view of Minnesota as a good place to live and do things like start a business, attend college and retire.
The Economic Impact of the Spring/Summer 2018 Tourism Ad Campaign in Minnesota, by Tourism Economics, details the economic impacts associated with the advertising-generated travel and travel spending.
The Minnesota 2017 Tourism Advertising Evaluation and Image Study was conducted by Longwoods International. Reporting of results from the 2017 study includes a main report plus three appendices, presenting a level of detail not included in posted reports from previous years:
A survey-based study of consumers in Minnesota's advertising markets provided fundamental strategic insights about the image of Minnesota, compared with a set of six competing states - Wisconsin, South Dakota, Michigan, Colorado, Illinois and Missouri. The study also addressed the return on investment (ROI) of Explore Minnesota Tourism's spring/summer 2017 advertising campaign; and the impact of travel advertising and visitation have on Minnesota's economic development image - the "halo effect." Results demonstrated significant positive impacts on people's view of Minnesota as a good place to live and do things like start a business, attend college and retire.