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Lawmakers say Minnesota's tourism budget needs a boost

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Minnesota is being outspent by other states when it comes to tourism.

That's according to group of DFL lawmakers who want to double Minnesota's tourism budget to attract more visitors and their wallets, Forum Communications reports.

Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, has proposed a plan to spend more than $16 million in each of the next two fiscal years to promote Minnesota as a travel destination.

House Commerce committee chair Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, told the newspaper he plans to include more tourism spending in a budget bill. Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Lake, also supports the additional marketing funds.

Minnesota’s tourism office says the state ranks 30th in state tourism spending -- far below regional rivals like Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Illinois, according to

Mall of America's Doug Killian told Forum Communications the Wisconsin Dells tourism area even spends more than Explore Minnesota Tourism.

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