The Minnesota hospitality industry is a second largest employer in the state: it employs over one hundred and twenty seven thousand people and pays three point three billion dollars in wages annually. Annual sales for the industry are over eight point three billion dollars and generate nearly one billion in tax receipts. The major factor that makes the Minnesota hospitality industry flourish and extensively develop is some unification and a close interaction of all segments, including restaurants, resorts, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and all the companies that supply them. In fact, Minnesota is the only state in the United States, where such unification and interaction is made possible. The pioneer and coordinator of the Minnesota hospitality industry unification is Hospitality Minnesota, one of the largest business trade associations in the state that represents over three thousand hospitality business in Minnesota, the majority of which are small, family run properties.
The Hospitality Minnesota's three members The Minnesota Restaurant Association, Minnesota Hotel & Lodging Association and Resort & Campground Association represent five major segments of the Minnesota hospitality industry and cooperate with the Hospitality Minnesota. The Associations keep members informed in regulations, industry news and trends, and laws as well as they own and manage the annual Upper Midwest Hospitality, Restaurant & Lodging Show. The Hospitality Minnesota regularly holds training seminars, educational events and industry shows to benefit its members and the hospitality industry.
Aspiring to the unification, the Minnesota hospitality industry focuses on a business travel that brings many entrepreneurs to conventions, conferences and seminars, aimed at improvement of all segments of the USA industry, the hospitality included. One of the long-term aims of the Minnesota hospitality industry is to bring business travel to new economic heights, make it a major way for business owners to cooperate, compete, learn and succeed. The Minnesota's Hospitality Journal is one of the major publications focused on business and meeting travel available online (www.mn-meetings.com).
The Minnesota hospitality industry is also proud to have some of America's fastest growing technology companies as its members. In 2003, the IDeaS, a leading provider of hospitality revenue optimization solutions, was ranked in the top ten among Minnesota's fastest growing technology companies, in the Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 50 program. It is a well-known fact that the technological advance puts any hospitality industry on the new stage of its development, making it more available (Internet marketing technologies), more comfortable (high-tech equipment of hospitality venues), and more competitive (develop unique hospitality products).
What concerns a leisure travel, the most significant aspect of all Minnesota hospitality industry, it benefits much from the general technological advance. Minnesota resorts and hotels, including three major resorts in Brainerd have gained the national recognition as the most high-tech accommodation facilities. Moreover, the world's largest hotel chain, the Best Western International, operates under a single brand name with twenty nine properties in the state of Minnesota.