Expert Alert

Winter weather’s impact on Minnesota tourism and the economy

Brigid Tuck, senior economic impact analyst with University of Minnesota Extension, (left) and Xinyi Qian, director of the Tourism Center with University of Minnesota Extension (right).

Minnesota’s $22.8 billion tourism industry is a year-round venture drawing outdoors enthusiasts to every part of the state. But what happens when the snow and ice that make winter activities possible don’t materialize due to warmer weather?

University of Minnesota Extension’s Xinyi Qian, director of the Tourism Center, and Brigid Tuck, senior economic impact analyst, are available to talk about tourism in Minnesota and what factors help — or hinder — its economic impact.

Xinyi Qian, Ph.D.

“Tourism dollars come from events, festivals and activities. We see the need for climate adaptation when it comes to the myriad of ways cold weather generates money for communities, business and individuals as our weather changes.”  

Brigid Tuck, M.S.

“Generally speaking, overnight visitors to a Minnesota community spend $140 to $150 every day of their stay. That money ripples through the community in many ways. This year, some of that money that starts with activities like snowmobiling, skiing and ice-fishing won’t be there.”

Xinyi Qian is the director of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center. She conducts applied research on a variety of topics related to travel and tourism, including visitor behaviors, active transportation, telecommuting, shared mobility, and outdoor recreation, among others. Her research has informed policies related to bicycling, and her visitor profile work has informed marketing and branding decisions in various Minnesota tourism destinations.

Brigid Tuck is a senior economic impact analyst with University of Minnesota Extension. She conducts analyses and writes reports for the Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) program, which she helped launch in early 2009. Since then, the EIA program has issued more than three dozen studies, covering numerous economic sectors in Minnesota — including tourism, education, manufacturing, retail, infrastructure, and local foods.

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Media Contacts

Allison Sandve

University of Minnesota Extension, Twin Cities