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Instead Of More Mining Controversy......

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 08/30/16 17:09

by Dave Mindeman

I am sure that most of you, at one time or another, have seen the North Dakota tourism ads (Legendary). North Dakota invested a pretty sizable chunk of money to bring in some tourism dollars.

Here is a summary of a 2014 report on that campaign....

The campaign generated 1.1 million incremental trips that would not otherwise have taken place, which brought $211.1 million in incremental visitor spending and $15.9 million in state and local taxes.

It cost $1.80 in advertising to generate each incremental trip.

Every $1 invested in the North Dakota ad campaign generated $107 in visitor spending and $8 in state/local tax revenue for the benefit of North Dakota residents.

By almost any standard that was a pretty good return. And the additional value of that is that the ad spending can implant the idea that ND is a tourist destination for future trips as well.

The reason I bring this up is that we have, at least I feel, an underutilized tourist destination in this state....I'm talking about the boundary waters.

The Iron Range gets some tourism dollars, but I believe they could be getting a whole lot more as millenials get into more of the rugged outdoor vacations.

Instead of the controversy of mining development that could actually be a detriment to this potential industry, why doesn't the state invest in national advertising in the way North Dakota has done.

I know there is the "Explore Minnesota" campaign and that has provided some benefits, but with the need for jobs in northern Minnesota, why not take the opportunity to greatly expand our tourism outreach.

Before we get into another heated debate about sulfide mining and the controversies that develop with that, how about an extended discussion of what we can do to make the Boundary Waters a national destination?

Hey, what have we got to lose by the conversation?
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