Duluth tourism update; Local businesses getting a preview from the Duluth tourism team

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The Duluth tourism collaborative hosted a tourism industry update at the DECC, bringing in local businesses owners.

This was the first big in-person tourism update with Bellmont partners as they were able to share their market research with the tourism community as a whole.

The industry one of the biggest for the city. President of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce Matt Baumgartner says, “This industry plays a huge role in our region’s economy with an annual impact of $950 million dollars that’s nearly a billion dollars.”

And after COVID-19 hit the industry hard for two years, Duluth is starting to see a major comeback.

Lauren Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing at Lawrence & Schilling says, “I think one of the most surprising things that we found is how excited people are to get back out and travel and how Duluth is part of that travel consideration set.”

According to Matt Baumgartner, Duluth sees around 6.7 million visitors per year. And approximately 7,000 people are employed by the industry.

Some businesses in the Duluth Tourism Industry only open for summer when travel is at its peak. Making the new tourism marketing vital for their business.

Vista Fleet General Manager Colleen Smith says, “Having that small operating window… it’s definitely important to have good marketing partners and having people talk about us and sending people our way. Just because we have such a short amount of time to be in season.”

She’s one of many managers there who were happy about the shared market research. She says, “Communication within that entity is definitely important. Especially knowing what our needs are and voicing what other people’s are because our needs might be different than somebody else’s”

The Mayor of Duluth, Emily Larson, also adding, “It is critical for our businesses and our community that we show up in a big and meaningful way this year. I think this campaign does that. I know this campaign does that, I think Visit Duluth does that, I think the DECC does that, and I think The City is doing that in a way that we just haven’t’ before.”