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EMT Express

EMT Express provides biweekly news and tips for the people who market Minnesota tourism.

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EMT Express - April 6, 2020

Flowers in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, St. Paul / Photo by Bonnie Fetcher

Explore Minnesota Update on COVID-19 Industry Call

Explore Minnesota invites you to participate in an industry-wide call about the COVID-19 crisis and the impact on tourism marketing in Minnesota.

This call will be held Thursday, April 9, 2 p.m. 

Phone: 1-415-655-0003
Meeting number: 969-340-876

This call will provide you with the latest on what we have heard from the industry, how EMT is rethinking strategies and making plans for an unknown recovery, and share some ideas on how we can overcome.

This will be the first of a series of calls to touch base on Explore Minnesota’s strategies, with another call to be scheduled in a few weeks. Please watch EMT Express for further details.


COVID-19 Industry Survey Resumes This Week

Share what you are experiencing and weigh in on how Explore Minnesota can support our industry by taking this short, anonymous survey. The accuracy and usefulness of these surveys relies on participation by you and others. Results will be summarized in next week’s edition of EMT Express.

The information gained from your survey responses is tremendously valuable to know, share and use in our planning. Previous COVID-19 survey results have been summarized in recent editions of EMT Express and are posted on Explore Minnesota’s industry website under, “COVID-19 survey results.”

Based on your feedback, we now plan to conduct these surveys on a bi-weekly basis. 

Take this week’s survey.


Webinar: How Will Events Thrive in the New Normal

Join Patrick Smith, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer at Cvent, on Thursday, April 9, 1 p.m. for a 30-minute webinar as he discusses how the power of in-person connections will be critical as we reconnect and recover.

Register Now.


Navigating the CARES Act for the Travel Industry

The CARES Act is the largest economic relief package in U.S. history, which contains several major provisions for the tourism industry. These provisions include:

    • $377 billion in loans and loan forgiveness for small travel businesses
    • $454 billion in federally backed financial assistance for impacted businesses
    • Tax relief to mitigate losses and allow businesses to use cash to pay employees and keep the lights on
    • Grants for impacted tourism businesses and airports

The U.S. Travel Association has created a Guide to CARES ACT Eligibility and a CARES Act Relief Resources FAQ.

Read the full U.S. Travel Association CARES Act Summary.


A Guide for Minnesota Small Businesses That Need Help

New state and federal programs have been built to assist small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Different programs make sense for different businesses. This guide will help small businesses quickly see which programs might be right for their situation.

Get more information on COVID-19 for Minnesotans.


New State of Minnesota COVID-19 Website

Last Friday, Governor Walz unveiled a new State of Minnesota COVID-19 dashboard to track the virus in Minnesota and provide up-to-date information on the availability of ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing. The dashboard will be updated daily until further notice.


Coronavirus Pandemic’s Negative Impact on U.S. Travel Continues to Accelerate

According to a Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers and the coronavirus pandemic, 84% of them are changing their travel plans for the next six months because of coronavirus, up from 58% two weeks ago and 75% last week. 

The Longwoods International research highlights the growing disruption to the $1 trillion U.S. travel industry. When asked how these travelers will change their plans because of the pandemic, 50% said they would cancel some trips, and 35% said they will reduce travel in the next six months. Changing trips from international to domestic and switching from air travel to auto travel continue to occur but were less frequent than the two weeks prior.

For highlights and week-over-week comparisons, see the Travel Sentiment Study Wave 3 Overview.


Minnesota Tourism Industry Gets Creative in Responding to COVID-19

Here are a few creative ways Minnesota’s tourism industry is providing thoughtful, inspiring and unique content to residents and travelers amid the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Visit Saint Paul launched a virtual experience for travelers and residents, “Saint Paul from Home.” The site is packed with virtual tours, 360 experiences, ideas on how to enjoy the outdoors, activity packs for families, and information about takeout, delivery and curbside pickup options.
  • Meet Minneapolis created a new video to support and show appreciation for the hospitality industry, and is spreading positivity with its new #WeGotThisMPLS #WeGotThisMPLS video.
  • Experience Burnsville created a guide for how to support local businesses, enjoy the outdoors and stay busy at home.
  • Visit Duluth launched “30 Days of Giveaways,” purchasing gift cards to local businesses and giving one away every day.
  • Visit Cook County is asking residents and travelers to share their favorite memories and spots to enjoy throughout the region using #DoNorthMN.
  • Visit Mankato is asking its social media fans to participate in their “Now Playing…At Home, 12 Days of Giveaways” contest for a chance to win $50 gift cards to local businesses. The contest runs through April 10.
  • Explore Alexandria is sharing daily photos and videos of the area with its #AlexLakesBreak hashtag, and is encouraging users to share their favorite activities and places throughout the city.
  • Visit Fargo-Moorhead is sharing the local love by giving away $50 gift cards to local businesses. They are encouraging their social media fans to share their favorite spots and where they are ordering items to-go for a chance to win.

If you would like to submit your campaign or response to be featured, please email Caitlin Hannah at  

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