• Meet Minneapolis Spotlights Toursim Impact at 2019 Annual Meeting

    POSTED March 5, 2019
  • Meet Minneapolis Spotlights Toursim Impact at 2019 Annual Meeting

    POSTED March 5, 2019

While Meet Minneapolis' 2019 Annual Meeting brought plenty of exciting updates—including the introduction of MSP direct flights to far-off destinations like Dublin, Seoul and Mexico City and a nod to the Upper Harbor Terminal project planned for North Minneapolis—tourism's true positive impact took center stage. Key performance goals for the organization were far exceeded, helping to support over 36,000 tourism and hospitality jobs in the city of Minneapolis.

“Our responsibility is to bring visitors to the city, in part, through the more than 600 events Meet Minneapolis secures annually. Yet our impact reaches far beyond that,” Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant. “These events and visitors add millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city to reinvest into the community.”

“Our work also plays a significant role in supporting the more than 36,000 tourism and hospitality jobs and careers in our city, from hotel workers, printers, and event planners to retailers, transportation providers and more. The hospitality industry provides everything from part-time, flexible work to family-sustaining careers with upward mobility and growth. Tourism matters and is an economic engine that adds to the vibrancy of our city and region," said Tennant.

Record-setting Minneapolis Convention Center revenue ($22.6 million), high group room night rates (560,681 nights) and impressive private revenue raised ($2.9 million) all helped boost Minneapolis tourism in 2018 and the many it impacts. In 2018, overall hotel occupancy rate rested at nearly 71 percent (an increase from 68.6 percent in 2017), even with the addition of over 1,400 new guest rooms between 2016 and 2018. Lodging taxes also generated more than $8 million for the city and local residents, which has since become funding for city resources and will be reinvested into the community.

Tennant also highlighted the long-lasting impact of major events in the region like last year’s Super Bowl LII. The organization's research found that 83% of first time visitors intend or are interested in returning to Minneapolis and that tourism initiatives contributed to an increase of over 28,500 booked future guest room nights from 2017. 

Additional highlights included the role of Sports Minneapolis in bringing key sporting events to the region including the extension of ESPN’s X Games for 2019 and 2020, the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional and the 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Spotlighting diverse Minneapolis neighborhoods has also become a top priority for the organization with the creation of over a dozen new website guides designed to introduce visitors to places they should know, like the Midwest Global Market on Lake Street, the Cedar Cultural Center in Cedar Riverside and Sammy’s on West Broadway.

Check out the full 2018 Annual Report online here

Even during a worldwide pandemic, the hospitality industry is working to make people feel at ease. Though many hotels can only open their doors to health care workers and first responders, they’re reaching out to their local communities with bright messages in clever, socially-distanced ways. Through the heart-shaped lighting of windows at night, hotels are serving as beacons of hope in cities across the country. 


Daily life has been significantly altered by COVID-19, no matter the industry. Many are working from home, while children stay inside for online schooling. Meetings and events have been hit especially hard, since the essence of the industry is face-to-face interactions. While we continue to self-isolate, plenty of organizations have been offering webinars with insights on how to handle the pandemic—watching webinars is a great way to use that extra time you might have used for your commute to learn something useful.


As the spread of the novel coronavirus continues to put immense pressure on the U.S. health care system and the people who keep it running, the American Hotel and Lodging Association is working to connect hotels with health workers who are struggling to find housing.