Twin Cities attracted all-time record number of visitors in 2014

The Twin Cities saw a record number of visitors last year, bringing with them $7.4 billion for the metro.

A study commissioned by Meet Minneapolis, the city’s convention and visitors association, found that 30.9 million people visited the Twin Cities metro area last year, an all-time record and a 5 percent increase over 2013. Spending also increased by 4 percent, up from $7.1 billion.

“We announced back in January that 2014 was a record year for Minneapolis hospitality,” said Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis president and CEO, in a statement. “So, while not surprising, this new data is further evidence of the health of our industry, which supports nearly 33,000 jobs in Minneapolis alone. It is also a strong indication that the efforts Meet Minneapolis and our partners put forth to attract conventions and leisure travelers is having the desired effect.”

Numbers from the study conducted by D.K. Shifflet & Associates back up the “best year ever” decree Meet Minneapolis announced earlier this year.

Minneapolis and St. Paul now surpass cities like Indianapolis (26 million) and St. Louis (23.9 million) in visitor count, and trail Dallas (44.1 million) and Chicago (50.2 million), according to a release

However, better years may be ahead. Meet Minneapolis expects the number of visitors to increase in the next few years to a goal of 36.8 million in 2017.