Monday, October 3, 2022

Minnesota tourism rebounds after lock-in, but COVID-19 delta variants have an impact

Wilmar, Minnesota-According to a survey of Minnesota’s tourism and hospitality industry, across the state, the tourism and hospitality industry reported an increase in revenue this summer compared to 2020, with 71% of companies reporting Summer income has increased.

The survey was conducted by Exploring Minnesota, Minnesota’s Hospitality Industry, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. It targeted food and beverage, scenic, entertainment, and lodging companies. Compared with the summer of 2020 and 2019, these companies checked and Related revenue and customer traffic.

Although the revenue of most companies has increased compared to 2020, only 45% of companies reported an increase in revenue compared to the summer of 2019.

In the food and beverage industry, 63% of respondents reported an increase in summer income in 2021 compared to 2020, and 42% reported an increase in summer income compared to 2019.

Half of the respondents indicated that compared with the summer of 2020, there is less customer demand compared to their business capabilities. Southern Minnesota and Twin Cities reported the lowest customer traffic.

Since the pandemic began, industry recovery across the state has varied by season, type of business, and geographic location.

Northwest Minnesota has increased by 90%, of which central Minnesota has increased by 90%, the twin city metropolitan area has increased by 89%, and southern Minnesota has increased by 64%.

However, tourism officials said that revenue from hotels and restaurants has not returned to the level of 2019, and the region hopes for greater growth in passenger traffic.

“They had a great summer, which is really great,” said Beth Fischer, executive director of the Wilmar Lake District Convention and Tourism Bureau. “But we need conference business, meetings and group meetings to come back.”

According to a press release from Discovery Minnesota, due to the COVID-19 delta variant, consumers’ perceptions of travel began to change, which hindered a stable recovery for several months.

Fischer said: “Our company cannot return to its original state,” she added, even if there is a threat of delta variants, she is optimistic about the fall because the company has been very diligent in cleaning and doing its best to ensure a safe environment of. In fact, many of the attractions in the area, such as camping, hiking and fishing, are outdoors, which will also contribute to the economic development of the area.

According to Chris Miller, director of the Mississippi River Parkway Commission in Minnesota, tourist destinations along the Great River Road in Minnesota have also achieved varying degrees of success in the summer. The portion of the scenic trail along the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana was reclassified this year by the Federal Highway Administration as “National Highway.”

“Some outdoor activities may be more popular than some indoor activities, but…I think this is a benefit of Dahelu,” Miller said in an interview. “You can find outdoor activities or indoor activities, and you can choose to let people adjust.”

The Minnesota Parkway Group and others involved in Great River Road are promoting September as road trip month. Miller said that communities that rely on tourism will continue to apply the best practices learned during the pandemic and advise travelers to check local hygiene measures in advance.

Most interviewees said it was difficult to hire workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. leisure and hospitality industry is the worst-hit industry, with 1.7 million jobs still lost since February 2020.

60% of the surveyed companies expect their revenue and customer demand this fall will be higher than that of the fall of 2020. According to the press release, companies reporting good performance in the summer of 2021 expect a similar season in the fall, but are still concerned about the potential impact of delta variants.

“The emergence of the current COVID-19 delta variant continues to highlight the volatility of the continued tourism industry recovery and the extent to which the pandemic has affected all parts of the industry. Consumer confidence and traveler’s preferences vary greatly, and those who travel seem to be spending too More,” Discovery Minnesota’s interim state tourism director Leann Kispert said in a press release.

Ken Warner, chairman of the Wilmar Lakes Chamber of Commerce, wrote that he thinks most people understand that the pandemic will last for some time and will need to adapt to the challenges it poses.

“I heard someone said that we should manage the virus instead of letting the virus manage us,” Warner said via email. “Business people are risk-takers and are very flexible in what they do. I am very proud of our business community and how they provide motivation through this process.”

Warner said that during this period, it is important for the community to continue to support local businesses, otherwise, they may eventually close their doors.

“(Business owners) are your neighbors, friends, and in some cases your employer. Please continue to support them so that they, in turn, continue to support our community in the many ways they do,” Warner wrote.

Nation World News Desk
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