UNDATED -- It's National Travel and Tourism Week.

State Tourism Director John Edman with Explore Minnesota says even though the COVID-19 pandemic continues, all signs are showing families are ready to hit the road running:

Yes, it will be different than other seasons we've seen in the past. There is pent-up demand. People want to get out. And they want to get out in remote places. They want to get to lakes, rivers, forests -- places where they can just relax.

Minnesota's businesses, venues, and residents are working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19, with tourism-related guidelines in place to ensure visitors have a healthy and fun experience in the state regardless of which adventures they chose to take.

He says last travel season was tough:

Last year we lost almost seven billion dollars in sales. Now, let's put that in perspective... if we are nearly a 16-billion dollar industry half the amount of sales our industry received was lost.

In Minnesota, the past year was challenging for many of the state's lodging properties, restaurants, attractions, event organizers, hospitality workers, and more.

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