Minnesota's biggest-ever tourism campaign launches in 14 states, provinces


Minnesota is casting a wider net in hopes of reeling in more tourists this summer.

State officials say Explore Minnesota's new ad campaign is its biggest tourism initiative. The Associated Press reports four ads featuring the slogan "Only in Minnesota" will reach television airwaves in six states that are new territory for the tourism agency (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming).

Here's one of the ads:

MPR News notes that altogether stations in 12 states and two Canadian provinces will run the ads. An Explore Minnesota executive tells MPR tourism is currently a $12 billion industry in the state. The agency hopes to turn that into $20 billion by the year 2020.

The Star Tribune reports the campaign also makes use of social media. Tourism officials hope to engage people who are considering a trip to Minnesota. Travelers are also encouraged to send photos from their trips to the hash tag #OnlyinMN. Some will be featured on billboards or recirculated through social media.

The $3.7 million ad campaign makes use of additional money the Legislature approved for tourism promotion. In announcing the campaign, Gov. Mark Dayton's office noted a 65 percent increase in the tourism marketing budget. Says Dayton: "Every dollar we invest in promoting Minnesota tourism brings another $84 of consumer spending into our state's economy."

The ads feature plenty of scenes of Minnesota's woods and lakes. There are also shots of restaurants and urban nightlife, Red Wing's giant boot makes an appearance as does Austin's Spam Museum. Find all of the ads here.

Will the Only in Minnesota campaign go down as one of the best state tourism promotions? That might be a stretch, but it makes us wonder ... what are the most memorable campaigns? A few years ago Forbes asked three travel industry experts to weigh in on that.

We'd take a gamble on their number one choice but it happened somewhere else and apparently it stays there.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Another absurd night for Kaprizov as his legend grows

Kaprizov scored a crazy wrap-around goal in the Wild's victory over the Kings.


DoorDash, Uber Eats bump service fees for Twin Cities customers

After Minneapolis and St. Paul limited what companies can charge restaurants, DoorDash and Uber are charging customers about a dollar more

hockey rink ice arena

Hill-Murray girls' hockey shut down after 3 players with COVID symptoms kept playing

The players showed 'complete disregard' for the school's COVID

Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 6.18.55 AM

Narrow band of intense snow to bring up to 7 inches to Minnesota

A winter storm watch has been issued where more than 6 inches could pile up.

Icicles; frozen; winter

As Minnesotans brace for huge gas bills, state ups assistance to $1200

Texas wasn't the only state impacted by February's arctic blast.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

3 first-period goals lead Wild over Kings

With three goals in just over three minutes, the Wild sealed their fifth straight victory.

butcher and the boar

Butcher & the Boar makes comeback with new ownership

Local hospitality company Jester Concepts has bought the brand. The new location is still being determined.


Staff at Mankato Hy-Vee incorrectly diluted COVID vaccines for 62 patients

The retailer says that there is no reason for medical concern.

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 7.19.58 PM

Twin Cities man going to great lengths to find beloved dog, missing in northern MN

He's hoping drone operators can help him locate Rowdi, his yellow lab.

Hennepin County Government Center

Some Hennepin County Government Center services will be unavailable during Chauvin's trial

Access to the building will be limited during the trail, which begins March 8.