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Industry News provides weekly news and tips for the people who market Minnesota tourism.

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May 28, 2024

Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center, Minneapolis / Photo Credit: Courtesy of Minnesota Timberwolves

Thank You for Encouraging All to Bring Ya A** to Minnesota

By now you may have seen the viral "Bring Ya A**" social sensation inspired by Minnesota Timberwolves Anthony Edwards' request to Charles Barkley to come to Minnesota for the NBA Western Conference Finals in Minneapolis.

We encourage you to participate in this fun and viral activation this summer. Here's how you can get involved:

  • Sign-up for a Bring Ya A** Sign: If you're interested in participating, to receive a physical banner/sign please fill out the following form. Snap a photo with the banners at your destination and noteworthy iconic Minnesota locations.

  • Get your Bring Ya A** swag: Order your official "Bring Ya A**" gear at

Minnesota is on the minds of folks across the nation, let's welcome them and encourage them to visit. 

Learn more about the Bring Ya A** sensation.


New Livability Campaign Continues to Grow  

Explore Minnesota's new Livability campaign launched in March with the goal of answering the question: "What can I be a part of in Minnesota?" and, ultimately, drive an increase in the state's available workforce/talent pool. Since then, the team has been hard at work to expand this effort.

The Explore Minnesota Livability team recently introduced the campaign's fourth documentary-style video which follows Ursula, a teacher at Carver Elementary School in Maplewood, who moved from Miami and has made Minnesota her home. Watch her story, along with the other Star of the North campaign videos

The Explore Minnesota for Business Council and Tourism Council Livability Committee will launch over the next month. Thank you, in advance, to our industry partners for their partnership in informing the Livability team's efforts to market our state for overall livability and economic opportunity. 

Our new Living Minnesota newsletter already has 1,750+ subscribers. The newsletter highlights what makes Minnesota a great place to live and work, as well as serves as a resource for individuals looking to make the move. Consider subscribing, sharing and sending us your feedback.


Last Call to Bid on Hosting the 2025 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

The 2025 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference is being considered for Feb.18-20, 2025, in the seven-county Metro area.

Any interested properties, venues or community may access the complete RFP requirements and bidding process through the SWIFT system. Log in to the  Supplier Portal to view this event, search for Event ID 2000015790.

The RFP submittal deadline date is Wednesday, May 29 at 2 p.m. If you do not have a Vendor ID setup with the State of Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Supplier Portal website or contact Supplier Resources 651-201-8106, option #1.

Review this Bid Opportunity Event.


Explore Minnesota Kicks Off 2024 MN Aurora FC Partnership

The MN Aurora FC, Minnesota's first community-owned pre-professional women's soccer team, has caught the country by storm as a women led, community owned organization. Aurora 2 has recently been announced as Minnesota Aurora FC's second team playing in the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) Women. The team is committed to uplifting all communities through the game of soccer and will host the RKC Third Coast at their home opener on May 30 at TCO Stadium in Eagan, the practice facility for the Minnesota Vikings.

Explore Minnesota is the exclusive sponsor of the MN Aurora FC home and away jerseys. The Club provides us in-field signage and 30-second videoboard ads at TCO Stadium, a sweepstakes to win jerseys and season tickets, travel guide distribution, 30 second TV broadcast spots on Fox 9+, Scorebug sponsorship, presenting sponsor of player introductions, new jersey presentations and logo inclusion on player backpacks.

To kick off this year's sponsorship, Minnesota will be celebrated and highlighted at the June 6 MN Aurora FC - Rochester FC match up game with a Minnesota themed night including an interview with Explore Minnesota broadcasted on Fox 9+, Eagan TV and KFAN.

If you have any questions about the MN Aurora FC partnership, please contact Glori Woolley,, 651-757-1869.

View the 2023 Recap.


Add Your Summer Celebrations to  

Summer is right around the corner and Explore Minnesota is looking for public events celebrated in June and July. 

To have your events considered for inclusion in various Explore Minnesota communications, log into the Explore Minnesota extranet to update or create new listings for the following events by May 31:

  •  LGBTQ+ Pride Month events and celebrations.

  • Juneteenth events and celebrations.

  • Fourth of July events, celebrations and fireworks displays.

Please note that submitting a photo with your event listing will increase the likelihood that your event will be featured in an upcoming newsletter or social media post. For technical assistance, contact our extranet team at    

Update your listing on the Explore Minnesota extranet.  


Explore Minnesota is Hiring an Associate Digital Strategist

The Associate Digital Strategist plays a key role within the Digital Strategy Team, serving as the team lead for Explore Minnesota's agency-wide suite of email marketing products, as well as a key contributor for social media, with a special focus on paid social.

This position serves as a subject matter expert to the Digital Strategy Manager and other members of the EMN staff and team. The incumbent oversees day-to-day operations of EMN email marketing products under the general supervision of marketing, including recurring newsletters and targeted campaigns, to drive ROI and web traffic using an industry-standard email marketing platform.

The Associate Digital Strategist works closely with the Senior Digital Strategist – Social to plan and execute paid and organic social strategy. This position is also responsible for production graphic design within an already-established brand and campaign framework and helps to manage the EMN branded photo and video libraries.

Deadline to apply for the Communication Specialist 2 - Associate Digital Strategist, Job ID 76626 is June 3.

Learn more and apply online.


Industry Business Conditions Survey Findings Now Available

Explore Minnesota, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Hospitality Minnesota regularly partner to learn about Minnesota tourism and Leisure & Hospitality (L&H) industry trends. Explore Minnesota's key findings from the most recent survey focus on industry health and growth opportunities. 

  1. Summer expectations are more positive than negative. For this summer compared to last, 36% of businesses expect significantly or somewhat higher revenue. Another 35% expect little or no change in summer revenue this year.

  2. Unusual winter and summer weather impacted and may continue to impact some businesses. Negative winter revenue impacts from the lack of snow and ice were reported by 41% of businesses. Looking ahead to this summer, 47% expect unpredictable summer weather, including fires, storms and heat, to impact their business. 

  3. January through April revenue was mostly lower year over year, across business types and Minnesota regions

  4. Financial and operating pressures continue. Price inflation for necessary goods and services was the top challenge with 60% of businesses selecting it. At the same time, businesses reported that labor availability is becoming less of an issue with only 22% citing it as one of their top two challenges.

For additional survey results, review the full report.


Accommodations Performance Summary for April 2024

April was a good month for Minnesota accommodations with year over year (YoY) hotel performance metric increases.

At the state-level monthly hotel occupancy increased 4.4% YoY to 55.2%, average daily rate (ADR) increased 4.3% YoY to $126.16 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased 9% YoY to $69.61.  For reference, in April the total U.S. average occupancy was 65.2%, ADR was $157.31 and RevPAR was $102.51.

For the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, monthly hotel occupancy was up 4.3% YoY to 59.3%, ADR was up 4.3% YoY to $131.40 and RevPAR was up YoY 8.7% to $77.86. In April the average Top U.S. 25 U.S. Market hotel occupancy was 72%, ADR was $187.28 and RevPAR was $134.80.

In April Minnesota "entire place" short-term rental occupancy was 44% (-3.5% YoY), ADR was $214 (+2.7% YoY), RevPAR was $94 (-.9% YoY), booked listings totals were 7,179 (+11.7% YoY) and available listings totals were 8,031 (+14.3% YoY).


Apply Now to Host 2025 Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener

Explore Minnesota is seeking proposals to host the 2025 Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener. This event is held annually and is coordinated by Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and a host community/tourism organization. The event dates are Oct. 10-11, 2025.

Through several high-visibility events specifically for outdoor and general media, the Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Opener can help elevate visitor awareness of the host community and create a lasting local impact. Please consider your community's marketing, media relations and civic goals, and how hosting this significant event can help achieve your objectives.

All proposals must be received by August 15, 2024. For more information about the Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener, please contact Lisa Havelka at 507-389-2683 or

View the 2025 GPHO Proposal and Application.


Upcoming Industry Webinars  

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