Explore Minnesota Tourism has announced RMI as its first agency of record for international marketing and market development. The strategic partnership comes after the state suspended most international marketing in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As international leisure travel rebounds, this partnership will promote travel to Minnesota from the United Kingdom, German (including Austria and Switzerland), Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg), French and Nordic (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland) markets.
RMI will provide in-market representation, prioritizing consumer marketing activities, in the United Kingdom, Germany and Benelux, while strategic research projects that incorporate RMI’s proprietary TRIP Report methodology will occur in all five markets to include the French and Nordics. TRIP Reports provide baseline data on travel packages and resulting number of travelers from each market. «This agreement marks the first time in the state’s destination marketing history that we have retained an agency of record for international marketing and market development,» said Lauren Bennett McGinty, executive director of Explore Minnesota Tourism. «The decision to work with RMI and their affiliated partners is an important strategic move made on behalf of Minnesota’s tourism industry and the state’s visitor economy. By investing in targeted marketing programs and in-country representation in key overseas markets, we are able to expedite the return of international travel to our destination and set a course for future growth for this critical statewide industry.»
This partnership comes at an advantageous time for the state of Minnesota as the travel industry continues to rebound post-COVID-19 pandemic and consumer booking demand to the U.S. grows rapidly. Visitor arrivals to the U.S. from Western Europe in 2022 were up 1,306% from 2021, and only down 39% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office.
The tourism industry remains a strong economic driver for the state of Minnesota, generating revenue, creating jobs and contributing to community vitality for its residents. The partnership with RMI is part of Explore Minnesota’s larger initiative to re-enter target international markets and resume marketing initiatives to identify the organization’s best opportunities for continued growth.
«There’s a real opportunity for Minnesota to capitalize on its natural travel experiences to promote year-round travel and uniquely position the state in these five top-producing tourism markets to capture the ideal traveler,» said Mathias Jung, CEO and Owner at RMI. «International travelers typically stay longer in a destination and spend more money than domestic travelers, which provide an ideal market segment for states like Minnesota.
We look forward to building a targeted international program together and helping to grow the state’s visitor economy.»
RMI boasts 32-plus years of tourism marketing experience, with a unique expertise in international marketing and a true affinity for middle-America and the Western United States. RMI’s staff knows first-hand how to sell the unique personalities and experiences found only in authentic small-town USA. The company can create, design, strategize, and breathe into life exciting brands and marketing campaigns that bring interest and travelers to desired destinations, boosting local economies with valuable tourism dollars. The company is looking forward to this new and long-standing relationship with Minnesota and welcomes the challenge of growing awareness of this state among international consumers and the travel trade.