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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 - July 13, 2020

Afton State Park Overlook with Dog

Consumer Searches on Signal Desire for Camping & Outdoor Adventures

Camping and campground related internal searches on have resulted in the largest amount of consumer inquiries of any travel pursuit since the February website relaunch. Searches for "Duluth," "hiking," and "resorts" also tallied highly. Given its unaided nature, internal search is among the purest data points for tracking consumer interest.

Interestingly, there were periods last year when camping saw similar peaks, so this trend now appears across both the old and new websites. The emerging focus on safe, outdoor recreational pursuits during COVID-19 has only solidified its standing as a trending topic. Some private campgrounds are reporting a record season and the emergence of peer-to-peer camping offerings has created some unique options from remote campsites to yurts, farm estates and vineyards.

Because of its rising appeal and diverse traveler profile, Explore Minnesota plans to consider camping as a potential niche strategy for next summer.

You can help support the consumer interest by encouraging your local campgrounds to upload recent photos to their Explore Minnesota free website listing.

Update listings on the Explore Minnesota extranet here or for assistance contact our extranet team at


Boost Your Online Reach with Google DMO Partnership Program

Google has become the world's largest travel planning platform and most influential connector of information sources.  The new Google DMO Partnership helps participating destinations position their local businesses and points of interest within Google's products, to ensure they are both complete and compelling to potential visitors.,

The program will help DMOs provide immediate, tangible support for their local business community, to support economic development. The program will generate a measurable increase in reach of existing destination assets, including imagery and business data, and expand the digital capabilities of destination marketing staff.

For questions and more information, contact Derek Ramthun, Marketing Strategist, Partner Relations at or 651-757-1843.


Reach More Travelers with an Ad in the Fall Explorer

With more than 1.1 million annual circulation, placing an ad in the Minnesota Explorer is a high-value way to reach travelers and families across the state. Eligible DMOs can purchase advertising space using Explore Minnesota's Crisis Marketing Grant Program.

Space commitments for the Fall Explorer are due by Friday, July 24.

Get more information about Minnesota Explorer ad rates and distribution and place your ad before it's too late.


Discover 21 Minnesota State Parks by Region

With 75 state parks and recreation areas throughout the state, you don't need to travel far to explore Minnesota's great outdoors. As consumers begin to venture out for day trips again, check out some of these 21 incredible, close-to-home state parks.


Invite Minnesotans to #ExploreMNAgain this Summer

Many travelers have cancelled or postponed their out-of-state vacations, so we're asking travelers to #ExploreMNAgain to rediscover their towns, seek nearby hidden gems, and find fun in every corner of the state this season.

Share what's happening in your destination or your favorite Minnesota memories by tagging your social media posts with #ExploreMNAgain.


New State Forest Maps Help Minnesotans Find Summer Fun

Eight new state forest maps from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources feature recreation highlights to help Minnesotans find their perfect outdoor adventure.

The maps are available in print and mobile formats for Bear Island, Big Fork, Burntside, Golden Anniversary, Remer, Koochiching, Smokey Bear and White Earth state forests.

Users have two ways to access the new maps:

  • The free Avenza App provides access to Minnesota state forest maps. Download the app and navigate to the desired map by searching MNDNR + state forest name in their store. Your phone's GPS will allow you to see your location, track distance and more.
  • Request paper maps with site-specific details from the DNR Info Center or 888-646-6367. A PDF version of the paper map can also be downloaded and printed from the state forest webpage.

In addition to the maps for these eight forests, the DNR has recently updated maps for an additional 23 state forests. See the growing list of state forests with updated maps.


Webinar: What's Next for Pro Sports

Join Star Tribune and the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, July 14 at 3 p.m. CST for a 30-minute webinar from one of the NFL's top executives on when and how pro sports are likely to come back. Hear from Steve LaCroix of the Minnesota Vikings on the team's plans for the coming season, fans' expectations and how their marketing will adapt.

Register here.


Webinar: Brand USA COVID-19 Research Update

Join Brand USA's Vice President, Research & Analytics, Carroll Rheem on Tuesday, July 21 at 1 p.m. CST for a research webinar to provide an update on international market conditions—the status of the pandemic, the economic outlook and consumer sentiment.

Register here.


Virtual Convention: From Vacation to Relocation—Using Tourism to Attract New Residents

Join SE MN Together and the University of Minnesota Extension for this free virtual convention about the "halo effect" of tourism on Thursday, July 30 from 12:45-3:30 p.m. CST.

Tourism is known to have a "halo effect" of inspiring positive sentiments about a community after visiting, and with the rapid rise of remote work in response to COVID-19, there's a huge opportunity for communities outside of major metros to position their towns as relocation destinations.

This free event will explore the tie between tourism and new resident attraction, and provide a platform for participants to consider actions their town can undertake.

Register here.

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