Brand USA

Here is an interesting project that Randy Staver was a part of:

All –

I had the opportunity on Thursday to attend a roundtable session hosted by Sen. Amy Klobuchar in St. Paul and I thought I’d share a few highlights.  The topic of discussion was international tourism and the Brand U.S.A. initiative that the Senator has been spearheading.  She asked for some specific attendees to share insight regarding international tourism and what it means to their particular area of responsibility.  The Senator served as host and the list of roundtable participants included the following.
Lenny Russo, Executive Chef and Proprietor at Heartland Restaurant
Mike Fullerton, Director of Public Affairs at Brand USA
Trudy Rautio, President & CEO at Carlson
Tammy Lee Stanoch, Vice President Corporate Affairs at Carlson
Maureen Bausch, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Mall of America
Doug Killian, Senior Director of International Tourism at Mall of America
Melvin Tennant, President & CEO of Meet Minneapolis
Anna Tanski, President & CEO of Visit Duluth
John Edman, Chair & CEO of Explore Minnesota
Bruce Nustad, President of the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA)
Mitch Kilian, Director of Government Affairs at the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC)
Jeff Hamiel, Executive Director and CEO at the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC)
Jan Kroells, Vice President of Marketing at Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau
Randy Staver, Rochester City Council President

The discussion was quite interesting with a great deal of information provided.  One topic of considerable discussion related to the initiative to possibly host the 2023 Worlds Fair in Minnesota.  There will be a strong pitch made for the Minnesota location at the Worlds Fair held next year in Milan, Italy.  Interesting fact: Hosting the Worlds Fair would have the equivalent economic impact of hosting a Superbowl every day for 3 months.  Another topic of interest was high-speed rail.  Mark Ritchie attended and he and several others noted the importance of high-speed rail as a way to rapidly move visitors, workers and others between destinations.

Each participate was given 1 to 2 minutes to offer perspective from their area.  I offered the following points.

  • Recent data shows 71 million travelers to Minnesota annually
  • We see approximately 2.76 million visitors annually in Rochester
  • Of which approximately 60,000 are international visitors
  • Our international visitors spend $60 to $70 million per year in Rochester
  • This spending creates an overall economic impact of $165 million annually
  • This is a vital source of revenue that not only supports our economy but also helps us grow and maintain critical infrastructure like roads and bridges
  • Destination Medical Center is legislation passed in Minnesota in 2013 and is an unprecedented initiative to grow the Rochester and Minnesota economy by leveraging $585 million in public funds along with $5 to $6 billion in private funds over the next 20 years
  • These significant financial investments combined with critical partnerships are vital to our success.  For example, Delta airline is beginning a new route this fall from Atlanta that will make it much easier for international visitors to get to Rochester
  • Mayo Clinic serves patients from 135 different countries
  • Mayo Clinic, for its part, will continue to increase its international marketing efforts and will seek to create more affiliations with international providers to help expand knowledge and improve healthcare both domestically and internationally
  • Promoting international tourism to the U.S. is extremely important to the success of our economy as well as having tangible impact to the health and wellbeing of people world-wide

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