Looking at tourism in Duluth now and for years to come

Tourism in the city of Duluth happens all year long…365 days.

“We are up 13% in our collections, and that even accounts for inflation, which we would count for about 8%, we are up 5% over significant other years, 20, 21, 2019. We are definitely outperforming other markets. The Twin Cities rate around the national average, but we are above the Minnesota average,” Duluth Mayor Emily Larson mentioned.

On Wednesday morning, the City of Duluth, along with Visit Duluth and the DECC, held a tourism industry update shared with community members on how the tourism industry in the city went this year, from concerts to sports events and much more.

When comparing these current numbers to those last year, the city has seen a lot of growth. “We were able to generate more than 75 events between meetings, events, and sports. All of that accounts for more than 22,000, almost 23,000 room nights if we consider that like as the average daily rate for rooms. So that was under 65. So it is more than almost $4 million in return rooms only, and that could be double up if you include food and beverage, transportation, and merchandise. So it has been a quite significant year so far, and looking forward to next year,” said Danielle Villa, President of Sales and Operations with Visit Duluth.

Villa also shared with me that Visit Duluth has more than 50 events confirmed for the New Year and beyond, with one already set for 2029. When it comes to tourism in the summer and winter months, according to Mayor Larson, Duluth is an area where people can experience so much.

“What we get to do in Duluth is really market winter in a very big and bold way, and there are plenty of people who want to ski, snowshoe, and sort of jump in a frozen lake or go fat tire biking. We have all of those opportunities here.”

With the 2022 season wrapping up, the city, along with Visit Duluth and The DECC, has a variety of projects coming in 2023.

“We are really going to pedal down and do more outreach with target audiences. We have mapped out very specifically the markets that we are seeking and how we are reaching them, Mayor Larson shared. What are the new tools we are using? What are the partnerships we are working with, whether it is with Explorer, Minnesota, or other entities? I think people can expect to continue to see this very dynamic vision of how we are talking about ourselves and how we are placing ourselves in regional and national tourism.”