A recent survey of Minnesota tourism and hospitality businesses documented desperate circumstances across the industry. Nearly two-thirds of all respondents reported business to be significantly lower compared to 2019. More than three-quarters of respondents noted overall negative financial health and stressed the urgent need for conditions to improve.
The survey, conducted in partnership by Explore Minnesota, Hospitality Minnesota and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, yielded a total of 681 responses from a cross-section of tourism and hospitality businesses across the state, including food and drink, attraction and entertainment, and lodging (motels, resorts, B&Bs, campgrounds and vacation home rentals). The survey was conducted Dec. 8-15, addressing business impact between September and early December.
Many Minnesota tourism and hospitality businesses stated that their survival depends on conditions improving soon, with well over half of all respondents signaling that they can remain solvent under current conditions for no more than six months. Food and drink establishments were hit the hardest, with 93% of related business reporting negative financial health, including 66% declining. Geographically, the Twin Cities metro area and southern Minnesota regions reported the worst business levels, followed by central Minnesota, then northeast and northwest Minnesota which reported similar levels. On a hopeful note, six in ten respondents have already met pre-pandemic levels or expect business to return to pre-pandemic levels before the end of 2021.
In comparison to dismal fall business levels, respondents' expectations for winter business activity were even lower.