Black Meetings and Tourism

July/Aug 2013

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•pg_30-43_ICI__BMT_pg3-58 8/12/13 8:48 PM Page 41 T R AV E L DATA MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL METROPOLITAN AREA VISITED BY 27.9 MILLION IN 2012 NEW TOURISM-RELATED JOBS SPUR DROP IN CA UNEMPLOYMENT, BOOST ECONOMY Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, announced recently that a study conducted by D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Ltd., shows that both the number of visitors and visitor spending increased in 2012. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area saw 27.9 million total visitors in 2012, a 4.1 percent increase over 2011's 26.8 million convention and leisure travel visitors. Those visitors spent $6.885 billion in the area, an increase of 5.5 percent over 2011, when spending was $6.524 billion. The number of leisure visitors alone also increased 4.1 percent to 20.3 million in 2012 from 19.5 million in 2011, with their spending increasing to $4.738 billion, or 5.7 percent over $4.483 billion spent in 2011. "This visitor increase is a solid start to meet our goal of bringing in 10 million additional visitors metro-wide from 2011 to 2017," said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. "We will achieve this goal by selling and marketing the city of Minneapolis as a premiere destination for conventions, meetings, small groups and leisure travelers. Perhaps more importantly, this growth will equate to an economic impact of $1.6 billion with the increased visitor spending in our hotels, restaurants, stores and entertainment venues." In the set of cities Minneapolis competes for convention business with, Minneapolis' 27.9 million visitors in 2012 put it just behind Chicago (42 million, 2011 count) and Dallas (29.97 million, 2011 count). Visitor counts lower than Minneapolis' were Saint Louis (22 million in 2010), Indianapolis (22 million in 2011), Kansas City (22 million in 2010) and Denver (13 million in 2011). New Orleans reported 9.01 million for 2012, and Milwaukee's 7 million visitors in 2011 were last in the competitive set. The competitive cities' data have been made available publicly; however, they may not be comparing the same criteria and were not part of the study commissioned by Meet Minneapolis. Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest data showing California's unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent with the leisure and hospitality industry adding the most jobs:  "California's travel and tourism industry is a leading economic engine for the state. As the industry continues to grow it's no surprise that the largest component of the travel and tourism industry – leisure and hospitality – has recently added 9,000 new jobs, more than any other industry. The industry is largely a hands-on service industry that needs people – rather than machines and technology – to thrive. The industry provides a wide array of jobs at all levels and education and experience requirements, offering everything from part-time or seasonal employment to long-term, rewarding career paths. In addition to creating jobs, the industry boosts the local economies of communities in all corners of the state. A recent report by Dean R u n y a n Associates Minneapolis Skyline demonstrates that both rural counties and urban areas benefit from foreign and out-of-state travelers. For example, In 2011 visitor-generated state sales tax receipts accounted for more than half of the taxes collected in the less-populated counties of Mariposa and Mono, 57.5 percent and 54.8 percent respectively. That same year, tourists spent more than $22 billion in Los Angeles, more than $12 billion in San Diego, and more than $11 billion in San Francisco. The California experience is irresistible and lures people from around the world and across the country to come explore our culture, attractions and glorious landscapes. Sharing all that our great state has to offer is a major industry that provides important benefits to us all." Meet Minneapolis Study Shows Increased Visitor Counts and Spending B M & T ••• July/August 2013 ••• 41

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