Minnesota tourism up for 5th straight year

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – The flooding much of the state had to deal with earlier this summer clearly hasn’t deterred tourists from vacationing in the land of 10,000 lakes.

This is the 5th straight year that the Minnesota tourism industry has seen growth.

Explore Minnesota sent out a survey to more than 200 businesses such as campgrounds, resorts, and hotels. Of them, about 80% reported seeing growth or stable but positive business.

Chuck and Connie Avery know their way around the Myre Big Island State Park.

They’re wrapping up their summer vacation as hosts of the camp grounds.

Spending as much time here as they do, they’ve noticed a trend, lots of out-of-area visitors.

“We have people here from California, and they tell us how wonderful it is here. I think that’s probably the thing that we enjoy the most, the diversity of campers. A lot of them are from out-of-state. We had a German rig here a couple of weeks ago,” says Avery.

Campground managers say they have seen more campers this year than last.

“It’s been a very good summer, probably a little bit better than last year,” says Assistant Campground Manager, Tom Wanous.

“We have had some other dates throughout the summer that have been almost as good as this, if not better than this Labor Day weekend. Actually throughout the summer the numbers have been excellent on almost all weekends,” adds Wanous.

Although this Labor Day weekend tends to be the last summer get-a-way weekend, the Avery’s say they’re time enjoying the Big Island State Park is far from over.

“We like it out here in the fall because it’s prettier.That’s our favorite time, so we don’t think it’s the end.”

The Avery’s are not alone in planning fall vacations in Minnesota. According to the same Explore Minnesota survey, the state’s fall tourism outlook seems to be good as well.

About 40 percent of businesses expect higher than normal revenues this fall season.

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