Explore Minnesota announces new incentive program to attract new residents to state

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

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(ABC 6 News) – On Tuesday, the Med City played host to the heart of Minnesota’s tourism industry with the goal of going beyond convincing people to just pay a visit to the North Star state.

Explore Minnesota’s new ad campaign is looking to attract people to live in Minnesota. The Star of the North campaign will be spread across 22 states and Canada to draw people in for more than just a trip to Minnesota. Explore Minnesota is marketing the state as more than just a tourist attraction, but as one of the best places to live.

“When our ads run in Texas, I’ll tell them this is the place to be!” exclaimed Minnesota Governor Tim Walz about the Star of the North campaign at Mayo Civic Center Tuesday afternoon.

“We need workers, we need people to fill some of these critical functions,” said Lauren Bennett-McGinty, Executive Director of Explore Minnesota. “And I think one of the things that we realize is that Explore Minnesota talks about all of the great aspects of Minnesota all the time and it would be just simple add in all those other components like jobs and affordable housing.”

And local tourism organizations are doing their part to chip in on the growing population of tourist and new residents of Minnesota.

“I think we’re really inspired,” said Bill Von Bank of Experience Rochester. “Because Explore Minnesota has a grant program we can take advantage of so that we can leverage some of those dollars to do more marketing around the region.”

One thing on everyone’s mind these days: affordability in living and travel. While people continue to budget to make ends meet, Walz says Minnesota is a much more affordable state for visitors and residents to make their vacation plans fit into budget.

“I think making the case it is that affordability piece of this because this is certainly no cheaper,” said Walz. “You’re not going to go to Boston and do it, you’re not going to go to New York City, you’re not going to go to Silicon Valley when you have an opportunity right here.”

And it’s the goal of state leadership and local tourist attractions to ensure visitors, current and future residents make the most of the travel and living opportunities Minnesota provides.

Minnesota’s tourism industry brought in more than a $22 billion from out of state visitors last year. But with this campaign they’re hoping not only to see more dollars — but more residents as well.