ST. PAUL, MINN. – A long-time advocate for funding statewide tourism promotion, Sen. Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) was recognized Tuesday by the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition and awarded the “Tourism Leadership Award.” His work during the 2013 legislative session helped boost the Explore Minnesota Tourism budget by 66 percent.
“Living in the Northwoods, I’ve seen firsthand how residents rely on tourism dollars to feed their families and make a living. Minnesota is a beautiful state, and I believe investing in marketing to promote that fact, and draw in more visitors is money well spent. I’d like to thank the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition for this honor,” said Senator Saxhaug.
Explore Minnesota Tourism said after years of declining funding, it’s now poised to reach more markets and draw more visitors to all parts of the state. Tourism in Minnesota is a $12.5 billion industry, supporting leisure and hospitality jobs which represent 11 percent of total private sector employment. The Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition notes that every $1 invested in state tourism marketing returns an estimated $8 in state and local taxes, and $84 in spending by travelers.
Doug Killian, chair of the coalition says, “Senator Saxhaug has been a strong voice for tourism for many years. His leadership in the Minnesota Senate to secure vital tourism funding is greatly appreciated and we applaud his work.”