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: July 21, 2021
Metrics include data for the most current available month, and year-to-date data through that month.
Updated on 7/21/21 with data through June 2021.
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.
International Visitors to Minnesota
International Travel Spending in Minnesota
This article and graphs are provided under permission granted by STR, the source of the data.
Minnesota's annual 2020 lodging performance clearly reflected impacts of the pandemic that have interrupted travel for most of the year. Impacts included historic 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. Following improvements in lodging performance from May through September, improvements gave way to stronger declines in the last three months of the year. Two sets of graphs, with links below, show annual changes in Minnesota's lodging metrics and monthly changes for the last 12 months.
2020 Lodging Performance Changes for Minnesota, the U.S., the Region and Minnesota Areas – Annual changes in Minnesota's lodging performance are nearly identical to statewide changes cited in the last quarterly report of lodging performance through the first three quarters of 2020. Five of Minnesota's six lodging metrics saw substantial declines during 2020, compared with 2019. Changes included declines in occupancy (-41.1%), average daily room rates (-21.0%), revenue per available room (i.e., RevPAR, -53.5%), revenue (-52.9%) and demand (-40.3%). Room supply is the only lodging metric that displayed positive annual growth (1.3%) during 2020. Room supply growth was concentrated in the metro, despite a 6.6% decrease in Minneapolis room supply. All other metro areas and two greater Minnesota areas – Rochester and the St. Cloud/I-94 corridor – experienced room supply growth, while the four remaining greater Minnesota areas saw flat or slightly negative room supply change.
The U.S. and the seven-state West North Central U.S. region experienced stronger lodging performance (i.e., smaller declines) than Minnesota in most lodging metrics during 2020. The notable exception was room supply, the one lodging-related dimension where Minnesota has remained near the top in growth nationally throughout the pandemic. 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), almost all of the five metro areas experienced bigger declines than the six greater Minnesota areas in all metrics, except supply. The pandemic impacted Minneapolis lodging properties more than any other area during 2020, and impacted Duluth and the two broad areas of greater Minnesota (i.e., the Minnesota north and Minnesota south areas) the least.
Annual 2020 changes in Minnesota lodging metrics (i.e., compared with 2019) and 2019 compared with 2018 (in parentheses) were:
Month-by-Month Lodging Performance for Minnesota – Graphs of Minnesota's monthly lodging metrics over the past 12 months feature pandemic-related declines early in the year, followed by incremental recovery through early fall. Starting in October, that recovery slipped as most metrics saw greater monthly declines through December. April changes represent the biggest monthly declines on record for most metrics, with room supply being the exception. The modest 2.8% April room supply decline was followed by a gradual re-opening of shuttered rooms and return to growth during the summer. Statewide supply growth has been sustained with monthly room supply growth in excess of 2% through the end of the year. 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 had the second highest annual supply growth rate among states (1.3%) in 2020.
Click below for accompanying graphs of Minnesota lodging performance:
Detailed December and year-to-date lodging metrics for Minnesota can be viewed for a limited time 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
Release Date: February 10, 2021
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.
2018 Leisure and Hospitality Sales Tax Statistics
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
This report summarizes results of a Minnesota tourism and hospitality industry survey that was conducted in early March of 2021. The survey was conducted as part of an ongoing quarterly survey series, under a partnership of Explore Minnesota, Hospitality Minnesota and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. These surveys cover a broad cross section of the state's tourism and hospitality industry, including overnight accommodations, food/drink establishments, a variety of attraction and entertainment businesses, and "allied and other businesses" that supply goods and services to consumer facing businesses. Surveying in this series is conducted jointly, but survey results are analyzed and reported separately by the partner organizations.
Winter 2021 (i.e., December 2020 through February 2021) business activity levels were down substantially from a year earlier, with over half of respondents indicating that revenue (54%) and customer traffic (57%) were significantly lower in winter 2021. Nonetheless, winter 2021 results showed improvement in business activity, compared with late 2020 results from the last survey conducted in December. As was the case in late 2020, food/drink establishments reported the worst business activity levels (i.e., the strongest year over year winter declines). Accommodations and allied services reported the best activity levels, though results for these sectors also showed many respondents with significantly lower business. Within accommodations, resorts fared much better than hotels and motels. Geographically, the metro reported the worst, and the two northern Minnesota regions reported the best winter business levels. Expectations for upcoming business through May are substantially higher than results for winter, though expectations are based on comparisons with pandemic impacted months of 2020.
Improved financial health and solvency projections provided bright spots in this survey's results. Respondents were roughly evenly split between overall positive and overall negative current financial health, with the biggest change being a two thirds reduction in the portion of respondents who rated their financial health as declining, down from 49% in late 2020 to 16% this winter. Also, the portion of respondents for whom solvency is not in question doubled in the three months since the last survey, from 20% to 42%. Still, 27% of respondents to the winter survey said they could remain solvent for no more than 6 months. Solvency concerns continue to be most immediate for food/drink establishments and hotels. Expectations for the timing of a return to pre pandemic business levels have shifted further into the future, compared with late 2020 results. The biggest shift was an increase in the portion of respondents expecting recovery in 2022.
Previous Seasonal Industry Survey Reports
As we look at May activity year over year, we’re still seeing exponential increases due to the pandemic-induced quiet period at this time last year. Even with the increased traffic, site engagement was trending up year over year. When comparing to pre-pandemic levels (May 2019), we still see increases in several metrics, indicating positive website performance. As a pre-cursor to the MN Scoops launch, mention of it was included on the 43 Must Visit Ice Cream Shops listicle, which was a big hit and generated a lot of media coverage/site traffic toward the end of May. The Covid-19 page dropped out of the top ten for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, but still saw increased traffic month over month. Many Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in May of this year and could have caused the increase in traffic as folks were looking for updated information as things were changing rapidly.
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.
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