The reasons why settlers claimed the Ninth District's plains and
forests are many of the same reasons people flock to the region
for vacations. In an era when many have disposable income and leisure
time, the natural resources that were the seeds of farming, mining
and the timber industry are the keystone of a growing tourism industry.
Ninth District travel and tourism outpaced the national economy
in the early 1990s. Tourism growth in the district continues, but
has not equaled that experienced in the late 1980s and early '90s.
And while visitor numbers were less than exceptional in most district
states in 1996, there was still substantial activity to confirm
the importance of tourism to the regional economy.
Minnesota. Travel and tourism is one of the state's five
leading industries, with $8.7 billion in economic impact and 163,000
jobs in 1995, the most recent year for which figures are available.
Montana. While agriculture is Montana's leading industry,
tourism vies with wood products as the state's second or third top
industry, in terms of employment and direct expenditures. About
8 million nonresidents visited the state in 1996, largely unchanged
from the previous year. The direct impact to the state's economy
is about 32,000 jobs and over $1.1 billion.
North Dakota. Tourism, the state's third leading industry,
employs about 16,000, and brings in more than $50 million in tax
revenue. In addition, about $912 million in direct expenditures
can be attributed to tourism.
South Dakota. Total state spending impact of tourism from
September 1995 through August 1996 was about $1.25 billion, generated
by $505.7 million in direct visitor spending. Total state sales
and gasoline tax receipts directly traceable to travelers amounted
to $29.5 million.
Wisconsin. In 1996, travelers spent nearly $6.6 billion,
a 7.4 percent increase over 1995; traveler expenditures generated
$1.1 billion in state and local government revenues; and travel
and tourism supported over 182,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Tourism vies with wood products
as the Upper Peninsula's (U.P.'s) number one contributor to the
regional economy. Based on a telephone survey by the Travel, Tourism
and Recreation Resource Center at Michigan State University, pleasure
trip expenditures in 1996 were estimated at $1.6 billion in the
U. P., or more than 17 percent of the state total. The survey region
included Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
How important is tourism to the U.S. economy?
The total number of trips taken by Americans has increased 45
percent from 1985 to 1995, according to the Travel Industry Association
of America (TIAA). Even more dramatic is that 76 percent of U.S.
adults made at least one trip of 100 miles or more away from home
in 1995, compared to 1985 when that figure was 63 percent. (For
purposes of measuring travel/tourism activity, travelers are defined
as those who stay away from home for more than 24 hours in paid
accommodations or who travel 100 miles or more away from home.)
In 1994, according to TIAA figures, travel and tourism:
- directly supported 6.3 million U.S. jobs, or about one in 10,
and another 8 million jobs indirectly;
- generated about $58 billion a year in federal, state and local
- was the third largest retail industry in the United States
in terms of sales, behind only food stores and automotive spending;
- accounted for nearly 6 percent of the nation's gross domestic
- was what Americans spent about $340 billion on in the United
States, each dollar of which generated an additional $1.39 in
total sales from interindustry purchases and personal consumption