U of M Survey: Travel Spending to Increase in 2013

Updated: 02/04/2013 10:43 PM KSTP.com By: Jessica Miles

Good news for Minnesota's tourism industry, a report released just today says leisure travel is expected to be up this year despite the economy.

University of Minnesota researchers questioned more than 800 people about their travel habits and spending last fall, and they found Minnesotans are not staying home.

The University of Minnesota says tourism brings in almost 12 billion dollars a year, that's 32 million a day.

37% of the travel money spent in our state is spent in the summer, between June and August, with 49% spent between September and March.

Travel sentiment, meaning the willingness and excitement to travel, was the highest it has ever been last summer, says the U.

Of those traveling most are spending their vacation time right here in our state.

67% say they plan to spend as much or even more money on leisure travel this year compared with last year.

Travel experts say this is a trend in Minnesota that seems to be continuing, and it's great news for the tourism industry.

"Travelers are interested in spending time in Minnesota, they are spending time in Minnesota, and their dollars, which means great opportunities for communities across the state regardless of their size or attraction mix," says the director of the University of Minnesota's Tourism Center Ingrid Schneider.

She says other than overnight stays, most of the travel dollars are spent on food.

To read more on the study, click here.