ST. PAUL, Minn., May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Whether it's a quick getaway or a longer vacation, it's more than special times spent with family and friends. The travel and tourism industry is a big part of Minnesota's economy.
In Minnesota, travel and tourism generate $11 billion annually, with travelers spending an average of $33 million a day in the state. Minnesota's leisure and hospitality businesses account for 247,800 jobs, more than 10 percent of the state's total private sector employment. Virtually every county in the state benefits from the wages, taxes and revenues generated by tourism.
Travel and Tourism Week, May 9-17, is a national event to highlight the economic, social and cultural benefits of the industry. This year's theme is "Travel Matters."
In addition to the significant economic benefits of the travel industry, visitor spending supports local amenities that residents enjoy in communities across the state including theaters, museums, restaurants, trails, amusement parks, shops and much more.
"Travel can add a lot to the quality of people's lives," notes John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, the state's tourism promotion office. "Taking a trip and doing the things we enjoy most can make a real difference in our physical and mental health and our overall enjoyment of life. And the folks who work in the hospitality business are really motivated by the idea that they are making a difference in people's lives."
Several communities are calling attention to Tourism Week with special activities.
-- In Thief River Falls, the Riverland Tourism Association is holding a day-long seminar on Tuesday, May 12 geared to those who work in tourism, called "Tourism in Northwest Minnesota Makes Dollars and Sense." -- New Ulm is offering a two-hour tour of the city's highlights for area residents, as part of their "Company Is Coming" campaign encouraging residents to spruce up and get ready for this summer's visitors. -- Brainerd is kicking off a similar summer tourism campaign called "Waves of Welcome," with area businesses greeting visitors with "Welcome" signs, placards and buttons.
Three tourism organizations will be hosting open houses at state Travel Information Centers (TIC) on Friday, May 15:
-- Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau at Albert Lea TIC, -- Southwest Minnesota Council at Beaver Creek TIC, and -- Winona Convention and Visitors Bureau at the St. Croix TIC.
In addition, the Lakeville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will hold a Tourism Breakfast Brew on Wednesday, May 13 and the Shakopee Convention and Visitors Bureau is introducing the city's children to the fun things to see and do in their own community through a coloring contest.
State tourism director John Edman has another thought on how to celebrate National Tourism Week: "It's the perfect time to plan your own getaway to Explore Minnesota this summer." Travel ideas and detailed trip planning information is available at the state's travel website: .
SOURCE Explore Minnesota Tourism