Explore Minnesota Tourism Budget Approved!
The Minnesota House and Senate have approved the Explore Minnesota Tourism budget as a part of the Jobs/Economic Development/Labor finance bill. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature. The bill provides a $33 million increase in funding to Explore Minnesota through a base budget increase, funding for new initiatives, grants for cultural festivals, and creation of Explore Minnesota for Business. The bill also provides funding for online hospitality training programs, Canadian border counties economic relief program, the ProStart and Hospitality Tourism Management Program.
- Development of New Initiatives: $5.5 million in fiscal year 2024 and $5.5 million in fiscal year 2025 to Explore Minnesota Tourism for the development of new initiatives.
- This appropriation will provide funding for Tourism Industry Grants and Minnesota Sports and Events
- Direct Appropriations: $6.647 million for the following grants:
- Taste of Minnesota, $1.847 million (Minneapolis Downtown Council)
- Stairstep Foundation, $1.2 million for African American cultural festivals and events
- Somali Community and Cultural Festivals and Events:
- Ka Joog, $400,000
- Somali Museum of Minnesota, $400,000
- ESHARA, $400,000
- Latino Cultural Festivities and Events, $1.2 million (West Side Boosters)
- Hmong International Freedom Festival event, $1.2 million (United Hmong Family)
- $11 million in fiscal year 2024 for Explore Minnesota Business (one-time appropriation)
- Explore Minnesota’s base budget will increase to $17.023 million per year beginning in fiscal year 2026.
The bill also includes policy language to modify the mission of Explore Minnesota, duties of the Explore Minnesota director, and duties of Explore Minnesota Councils. The bill creates “Explore Minnesota Business: as a division of Explore Minnesota and establishes the Explore Minnesota Business Council.
- $250,000 grant to ProStart and Hospitality Tourism Management Program
- $400,000 grant to U of MN Tourism Center for creation and operation of an online hospitality training program in partnership with Explore Minnesota Tourism.
- $5 million grant for the Canadian Border Counties Economic Relief Program
Thank you to everyone who testified in support of increased tourism funding, engaged with their local legislators, committee chairs, and bill authors to advocate for tourism and hospitality!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition Lobbyist