Travel in 2015? Yes, please, Minnesotans say

February 6, 2015

About one-half of Minnesota residents vacation in the state, and 78 percent said they plan to spend as much or more of their money on leisure travel in 2015 as they did in 2014, a new survey by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center reveals.

Among respondents surveyed during the fourth quarter of 2014, 49 percent (382 respondents) said they plan to spend the same on leisure travel in 2015 compared to 2014, and 29 percent reported they plan to spend more. This intention to spend more is up 10 percent from 2012 and 3 percent from 2013. Previous visitor research indicates travelers spend most of their travel dollars on food, followed by nearly equal amounts on lodging and retail, and then by recreation and transportation spending.

"The Minnesota consumer travel spending intentions may be viewed positively by the industry and tourism-dependent communities" said Ingrid Schneider, director of the U of M Tourism Center.

The tourism industry generates $12.5 billion in gross sales in Minnesota, including $811 million in sales tax, and accounts for close to 245,000 jobs, according to Explore Minnesota Tourism.

The research study was one of several studies supported by the Carlson Chair of Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, and was conducted as part of the 2014 Minnesota State Survey by the Minnesota Center for Survey Research. More than 800 telephone interviews were conducted with residents of Minnesota aged 18 or older from September 30 to November 25, 2014. The margin for error was 3.5 percent.

The University of Minnesota Tourism Center is a collaboration of University of Minnesota Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. For more information on tourism research and Extension programs, visit www.tourism.umn.edu.