During the COVID-19 crisis, Explore Minnesota is staying in touch with Minnesota’s tourism industry with periodic surveys. Reports of results from these surveys include suggestions by respondents about how Explore Minnesota can support the industry, as well as summaries of business impacts reported by respondents:
Release Date: January 19, 2021
Metrics include data for the most current available month, and year-to-date data through that month.
Updated on 1/19/21 with data through December 2020.
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.
Compared with Explore Minnesota's traditional industry business surveys, the late 2020 survey covered a broader cross-section of the tourism and hospitality industry. Instead of focusing solely on Minnesota's lodging and camping businesses, this survey solicited responses from the state's food/drink establishments, along with a variety of attraction and entertainment businesses. Yet another business category covered businesses that supply goods and services to Minnesota's tourism and hospitality businesses, i.e., allied businesses. The survey was conducted in partnership with Hospitality Minnesota and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. While the survey was conducted jointly, survey results are analyzed and reported separately by each organization.
Results for fall 2020 and expected winter activity levels were similar among respondents. Nearly 80% of respondents reported lower fall revenue, and more than 80% also reported lower fall customer traffic. Even larger portions of respondents expect lower winter revenue and customer traffic. Food/drink establishments reported the worst business activity levels, while resorts and campgrounds reported the best, though best is relative and, in this case, still bad. Geographically, the metro and southern Minnesota regions reported the worst business levels, followed by central Minnesota. Northeast and northwest Minnesota reported similar levels of the best results among regions. Again, best is relative.
Results indicate deteriorating financial health among respondents, with more than three quarters of respondents saying their current financial health is either declining or "stable, but negative." Many tourism and hospitality businesses urgently need conditions to improve, with 30.5% of respondents signaling that they can remain solvent under current conditions for no more than 3 months and another 26.5% anticipating only 4-6 months of solvency. Solvency concerns are most immediate for food/drink establishments and hotels.
Six in ten respondents have already met pre-pandemic levels or expect business to return to pre-pandemic levels before the end of 2021, with the greatest share anticipating a return in the second half of 2021. Of the remaining respondents, most expect business to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, but more than one in ten expect 2023 or later.
Previous Seasonal Industry Survey Reports
This article and graphs are provided under permission granted by STR, the source of the data.
Minnesota's lodging performance metrics continue to show deep COVID-related impacts on Minnesota's lodging properties. Impacts included double-digit declines in five of Minnesota's six lodging metrics. Continuing a trend initially seen in the first quarter of 2020, COVID impacts on metro area lodging have been more substantial, compared with impacts on greater Minnesota lodging. A glimmer of hope is provided by incremental improvements in lodging performance each month from May through September. Two sets of graphs, with links below, show changes in Minnesota's lodging metrics through the third quarter of 2020 and monthly for the last 12 months.
Lodging Performance Changes through the Third Quarter of 2020 for Minnesota, the U.S., the Region and Minnesota Areas – Five of Minnesota's six lodging metrics saw substantial declines through the third quarter of 2020, compared with the same period of 2019. Changes included declines in occupancy (-41.3%), average daily room rates (-20.3%), revenue per available room (i.e., RevPAR, -53.2%), revenue (-52.6%) and demand (-40.5%). Room supply is the only lodging metric that displayed positive statewide growth (1.3%) through the first three quarters of 2020. Room supply growth was concentrated in the metro, despite a 7.8% decrease in Minneapolis room supply. All metro areas and two greater Minnesota areas – Rochester and the St. Cloud/I-94 corridor – experienced room supply growth. Supply losses were less than 1% for each of the three greater Minnesota areas that experienced losses.
With the exception of room supply growth, the U.S. and the seven-state West North Central U.S. region experienced stronger lodging performance than Minnesota through the third quarter of 2020. In other words, the U.S. and region experienced smaller declines in the remaining five metrics, compared with Minnesota. Also, greater Minnesota's declines were smaller than metro declines for all lodging metrics except supply. Among Minnesota's 11 distinct market areas (i.e., five in the metro and six in greater Minnesota), all five metro areas experienced bigger declines than each of the six greater Minnesota areas for all metrics except supply. Through the first three quarters of 2020, STR metrics show that the pandemic has impacted Minneapolis the most of any area, and has impacted Duluth and the two broad areas of greater Minnesota (i.e., the Minnesota north and Minnesota south areas) the least.
Through the first three quarters of 2020, year-over-year changes in Minnesota lodging metrics (i.e., 2020 compared with 2019) and 2019 compared with 2018 (in parentheses) were:
Month-by-Month Lodging Performance for Minnesota – COVID-related declines and incremental recovery dominate graphs of change in Minnesota's monthly lodging metrics over the past 12 months. A moderate downturn in most metrics in February was followed by big declines in March. Then, in April, the bottom fell out with the biggest monthly declines on record for most metrics. The modest 2.8% April room supply decline was the exception. Year-over-year monthly losses have moderated for each metric, starting in May and continuing through September. Room supply growth topped out at 2.4% in August, before dropping to 1.7% in September. Minnesota's strong room supply growth continues to negatively impact other metrics. Unlike most other states, Minnesota continues to experience a net increase in available rooms, leaving more properties to compete for the business of a much smaller pool of hotel guests during the pandemic. Minnesota has the highest supply growth rate of any state (1.3%), and was one of only 12 states that experienced positive room supply growth through the first three quarters of 2020.
Click below for accompanying graphs of Minnesota lodging performance (repeats of links from above):
Detailed monthly and year-to-date lodging metrics for Minnesota can be viewed on the research/reports page of Explore Minnesota's industry website, under the "STR Lodging Performance Metrics" option. (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
The downward swing in activity that we saw late in October continued to be evident throughout November. November is historically the lowest traffic month of the year and was additionally impacted by the dial back of COVID-19 restrictions which led to a pause on much of our advertising. Advertising during the month largely consisted of Google CPC (search engine marketing) and the Gratitude campaign which saw a significant amount of TV and YouTube impressions.
International Visitors to Minnesota
International Travel Spending in Minnesota
Release Date: June 15, 2020
Minnesota Resorts Saw Healthy Sales Growth in 2018
Sales and state sales tax at Minnesota resorts grew for a ninth consecutive year in 2018. Statewide 4.4% sales and state sales tax growth were accompanied by the smallest decline in the number of resorts (i.e., 10) since 2014. In our current, challenging business environment, this just-released 2018 data from the Minnesota Department of Revenue serves as a bittersweet reminder of better times, a short while ago.
According to the report, statewide gross sales increased 4.4% to $319.9 million in 2018 and state sales tax increased 4.4% to $19.5 million. These changes continued a trend of annual growth in statewide resort sales and state sales tax that started in 2010. The number of Minnesota resorts reported for 2018 (i.e., 706) represented a decrease of 10 resorts (-1.4%), following more substantial declines of 24 resorts (-3.2%) in 2017 and 28 resorts (-3.6%) in 2016. The 2018 resort losses occurred in Minnesota’s central and northwest regions. Between 2004 and 2018, gross sales at Minnesota resorts increased 40.4% while the number of resorts decreased 28.2%.
The following three graphs show a timeline of gross sales, state sales tax and number of Minnesota resorts from 2004 through 2018, including regional and statewide totals. Resort data in the graphs is available in a series of annual reports, including county detail down to the county level, accessible via links found immediately below the graphs. 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 on the graphs that the southern region experienced significant growth in gross sales (86%) and state sales tax (74%) in 2018, following substantial declines in 2017. The southern region’s relatively small number of resorts leaves it more susceptible to swings like this, compared with the northern regions.
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.)
2017 Resort Sales & Use Tax Statistics
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: Jul 2, 2020
Minnesota 2019 Tourism Advertising ROI/Economic Impact – SMARInsights providing estimates of the volume and value of travel influenced by Explore MinnesotaTourism (EMT) spring/summer 2019 paid marketing efforts and measuring the effectiveness of Minnesota's 2019 spring/summer advertising campaign and to provide insight into the aspects of the campaign that were successful, as well as identifying opportunities for refinement.
Minnesota 2019 Tourism Advertising Creative Evaluation + Niche Analysis providing estimates of the volume and value of travel influenced by paid advertising.
Release Date: March 13, 2020
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.
2017 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
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
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.
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.
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