In February of this year, Explore Minnesota released their new statewide tourism campaign, “Find Your True North.” Based out of St. Paul, Explore Minnesota is the state’s tourism promotion agency. Over the last decade, there has been a shift toward making Minnesota more than just a flyover midwestern state. They want the world to know just how much the North has to offer.
The campaign hopes to demonstrate that True North isn’t a direction, or a place on the map. It’s a state of mind. Governor Tim Walz said, “I’m excited about this new campaign that will attract even more visitors to the True North,” in a recent press release.
Whether you’ve lived here all your life, you have recently moved to Minnesota, or there are family and friends coming to visit, our True North has countless destinations to satisfy even the pickiest adventurer.
Explore Minnesota’s “Find Your True North” campaign hopes to help tourists and residents explore the vast variety of attractions and destinations we have in our beautiful state. Many start online when trying to plan their vacations, and the Explore Minnesota site now has user friendly, interactive features which narrow down the types of adventures waiting to be taken. From hiking destinations to art and culture locations, epic Minnesota playgrounds to the best biking trails, and everywhere in between, visitors to the website can plan entire trips with the click of the mouse.
On average, $42 million per day in revenue is attributed to the travel and tourism sector across the state. In fact, an estimated 73 million people visited our state for overnight or day trips in 2017, and the numbers are increasing each year.
The Arrowhead and Iron Range regions of northeast Minnesota, and St. Louis County in particular, are some of the most frequently traveled areas in the state. Locals and tourists alike love our natural landscapes and unique historic landmarks.
“Tourism in Minnesota is a $15.3 billion industry, generating 18 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing more than 270,000 workers. Tourism reaches every corner and every county of the state, including northeast Minnesota. With assets that include all-season trails, museums and historic sites, golf courses, beautiful lakes, parks and a wide variety of lodging, the Iron Range is well positioned to continue to attract visitors for many years to come,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota.
Travel and tourism directly affect the local economy. Businesses centered on tourism see the direct impact, but secondary support industries— retail, medical, transportation, and restaurants to name examples—also benefit from the increase in visitors to our region. Revenue from the leisure and hospitality industries work in conjunction with the mining and health industries in our area to help create a stable and prosperous economy.
Explore Minnesota hopes their efforts will rejuvenate a love for our diverse state, as well as draw tourists from across the nation to find their True North.
In their February press release, the agency said, “From major sports teams to popular products to fashion and culture, everyone seems to have defined their own version of the North. The ‘Find Your True North’ campaign was designed to tell specific stories that make Minnesota stand apart as a unique travel destination, and invite people to have real and meaningful experiences around the state.”
Telling stories is also at the heart of the new focus. They want people to not only explore our state, but fall in love with it, either again or for the first time. On social media platforms, the hashtag #OnlyinMN has gained popularity over the last few years. Explore Minnesota encourages everyone taking part in something uniquely Minnesotan to post their photos with the hashtag.
Looking for a new trail to bike? How about a museum or historical marker to visit? Places to stay, restaurants to frequent, and planning ideas galore await. You can find exactly what you’re looking for at www.exploreminnesota.com/findyourtruenorth.
Graphic and informational resources courtesy of Explore Minnesota.