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'Every season is a perfect season to visit Minnesota.' Explore MN hosts tourism conference in Bloomington

Tourism leaders across the state are looking back at strides made last year while looking ahead to 2023.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Whether it's the snowy winters or the carefree summers, Minnesota has it all.

"Every season is a perfect season to visit Minnesota," said Lauren Bennett McGinty, the Executive Director of Explore MN.

And in this space at the Double Tree by Hilton in Bloomington, tourism leaders across the state are looking back at strides made in 2022.

"It was significantly better than 2021 obviously and we did see a lot of places in northern Minnesota see successes," said McGinty.

Explore MN's Executive Director Lauren Bennett McGinty says the agency launched a new strategic plan last year.

"It really focuses on growth, and recovery and Minnesota is poised to be a leader in a lot of different spaces when it comes to tourism," she said.

In 2022, Minnesota welcomed more than 77.2 million visitors to the state, according to Explore MN.

In December, approximately 254,000 people were employed in the leisure and hospitality industry, up 10% in a year.

"We really wanted to make sure we were looking forward to the future, focusing on efforts that should be critical in any effort, like diversity, equity and accessibiliity," McGinty said.

While state leaders are optimistic, they say there are still challenges lingering post-pandemic.

"Travel indicators show that our state tourism volume is slightly below pre-pandemic levels, but now as my friend, the Mayor of Duluth would say, we see the lighthouse on the horizon," said Klobuchar.

"Thank you to all of you, for all you do to share Minnesota with the world," said Senator Tina Smith.

Now, there's a collective effort to bring in more visitors to enjoy all that Minnesota has to offer.

"Focus on out-of-state visitors, and experimenting with a few new markets in the South of the country," said McGinty. "As we continue to share the love of Minnesota with the world."

For more information about Explore MN, visit the link here.

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