Mar 13, 2023 | By: Mary Balstad

Explore Minnesota Discusses Tourism Trends of 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged many areas of Minnesota’s economy.

With tourism being one of the state’s largest businesses, the obstacles it faced throughout the shutdowns also provided learning opportunities. Local tourism bureaus for central and northwestern Minnesota spoke about the changes they have implemented to continually grow one of Minnesota’s most lucrative industries.

As Minnesota businesses saw the COVID-19 pandemic close their doors, one of the state’s largest industries found different ways around the shutdown. The tourism industry changed focus from indoor excitements to outdoor adventures.

With this shift in focus, tourism bureaus are now looking at how to accommodate for the needs of different visitors. Local leaders spoke about reaching out to different demographics while working to make the outdoor parks and trails more accessible and equitable.

Although the marketing has expanded its focus, tourism leaders say there are still challenges ahead. These uncertainties include economic uncertainties due to the rise of inflation and fall of Silicon Valley Bank.

But the trends of tourism to the northwoods have seen success since the height of the pandemic, as Visit Bemidji reported rising numbers since the pandemic. They expect 2023 to follow this positive trend.

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