Most of us have seen the “Find Your True North” commercials, whether watching the Twins on Fox Sports North, or through other channels. What do these commercials mean to business owners and to the larger economy as a whole? The answer is a lot. The Tourism and Hospitality industry in Minnesota is an essential part of the overall economy. This industry makes up approximately 11% of the employment in the State, with over 270,000+ jobs and $5.8 billion in wages. This industry also brings in over $15.3 billion in annual sales, which amounts to $996 million in State sales tax revenue, or 18% of all State tax revenue.
When we break this down further, it gives us great insight into the economic impact Tourism has on the Twin Cities Metro and, more specifically, Scott County. The Twin Cities Metro region accounts for over $10.5 billion in gross sales, and over $693 million in State sales tax. Scott County alone is responsible for over $391 million of the gross sales, and over $22 million of the State sales tax.
Why We Market Our Destination
The Shakopee Chamber and Visitors Bureau works to market Shakopee as one of the premier destinations for families in the Midwest. We have many great assets in the region including Valleyfair, Canterbury Park and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Also, as being part of the Twin Cities metro, we are also near great attractions like Mystic Lake, the Minnesota Zoo, Mall of America, and the four major professional sports teams. We have a lot to offer the consumer, but we are also fighting other destinations for the consumer’s dollar. We are trying to be as efficient with our marketing buy and that is one of the main drivers on why we focus our marketing efforts on the “drive market”, or within 2-6 hours of Shakopee. We believe we are hitting the right people within this radius. We want to target individuals who make the buying decisions of the household, who will plan multi-day trips to the Shakopee area, and will spend dollars not only at the major attractions, but also at shops, restaurants, and more. That is why our primary target demo is the “Social Mom”:
The typical Midwestern traveler is 25-54-year-old woman with a household income of
$84,000. She is likely to be a college graduate and will do online research to help make
decisions for her family. While she’s busy, her top priority is spending time with her family.” (Source: ZLRIGNITION)
Why Does This Matter to You?
The Visit Shakopee brand and message is about selling family-friendly fun to the consumer. We do this through the website (visitshakopee.org), through our content marketing program based off first-person experience, through social media, and other channels available to us. Once we bring the consumer to the destination, it is up to all of us to remind them of why they decided to travel to Shakopee. Businesses can make sure they are digitally relevant by keeping an up-to-date website, social media profile, Google Business profile, and adding photos of their business in Google Maps.
All of us are part of the Visit Shakopee Marketing effort, down to the local convenience store. We can all tell our story to the consumer in the most effective and positive way possible. The Shakopee Chamber and Visitors Bureau will help tell that story to the consumer in the planning phase, but all of us have the obligation to make sure that narrative fits once the traveler is here. We are always in competition with some other terrific attractions and destinations in the region but, if we work together on creating the greatest experience possible, our message will resonate and will win the consumer’s loyalty.