Byway Visitor and Resident research along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway last spring and summer has some exciting early results.
Every two years the National Scenic Byways Conference is held in a selected city in one of the nation’s states within which there is at least one nationally designated scenic byway. This year Minneapolis is the chosen site. With seven of our twenty-two byways carrying the distinction of national designation, Minnesota is a great showcase state for this Conference.
The National Scenic Byways Conference will be held August 21-24, 2011. Those dates may seem far off, but planning for the event has already begun.
Byway visitor and resident research done this spring and summer along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway has been completed and is serving as the basis of an exciting proposal that was submitted on December 17, 2010, to the Conference planners by Ingrid Schneider and Rachel Liechty of the University of Minnesota’s Tourism Center and Brigid Tuck of the University of Minnesota Extension: Center for Community Vitality.
The presentation proposal offers 1) an overview of this recently completed project that identifies consumer awareness and spending related to byways, 2) lessons learned in the project, and 3) best practices for such a project as well as a question and answer session and sharing.
Data isn’t always the most exciting stuff; no one would argue with that. But, when the resulting information is as intriguing as this, it really does draw a lot of interest. Here are a few examples of research results that will be shared at the Conference should the presentation proposal be accepted.
- In 2010, an estimated 23,800 travel parties visited the region specifically because of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway
- These travel parties spent $21.6 million dollars while in the region
- Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway travelers created a total of $21.2 million in economic output in the regional economy, including 331 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs and $7.2 million in labor income
Notification of accepted proposals will occur in February, 2011.
This Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway survey project was supported through the Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, the Carlson Chair for Travel, Tourism & Hospitality, and Explore Minnesota Tourism, with agency support from the Pine River Chamber of Commerce.
Read other Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association news.