Summer tourism season overall success

By KBJR News 1

September 4, 2014 Updated Sep 4, 2014 at 11:02 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- According to Explore Minnesota, the summer tourism season, though short, was a success overall based on an end of summer survey. Tourism officials hope to carry that momentum into the fall.

"Every year there are some places that are up and some places that are down, but one of the things we go by also is no news is good news. If people are having a tough time they'll call me and ask if other people are having a tough time and I haven't been getting that this year, so that's good news,” Explore Minnesota, Tim Campbell, said.

Good news that not only applies to northeast Minnesota, but for much of the state. The successful reports have come in despite the summer's slow start.

"There were some pockets that struggled early on because as you know it was a late spring and a cold wet June and a lot of flooding in a lot of places so that kind of stalled things out a little bit, but it's picked up, it's doing well," Campbell said.

It's the fifth year in a row of continued growth in travel for the state. Numbers for Duluth seem to also show some growth for travel.

"We did see a very strong response in July and we really anticipate August a really solid summer for us, not one for the record books but definitely one we can be proud of," President and CEO Visit Duluth, Anna Tanski, said.

In the Explore Minnesota survey, 79% of 222 respondents in the industry rated their current financial health as "growing" or "stable, but positive."

Explore Minnesota says fall numbers should be equally as positive.

"We also ask on that survey what fall is looking like and most people are indicating that they expect at least as good if not better traffic than last year," Campbell said.

Those numbers are also being verified by many Duluth and northeastern Minnesota businesses.

"So far convention bookings remain strong and that is a very busy season for us for meetings and conventions as well as sporting events and the tourists do come because of the peak fall colors, so we really do anticipate even with the weather being what it may that we'll have a strong fall," President and CEO Visit Duluth, Anna Tanski, said.

The Explore Minnesota survey was given to 222 Minnesota lodging businesses, including hotels and motels, resorts, campgrounds and vacation home rentals.

Bryce Henry