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Survey expected to help grow tourism in county

The Otter Tail Country Tourism Association has teamed up with the University of Minnesota to survey tourists about what makes the Otter Tail County area so attractive, in hopes of finding out what creates and retains tourism.

The project, led by a team from the Center for Small Towns at the University of Minnesota-Morris with assistance from Extension Educator Ryan Pesch, is an ambitious undertaking, targeting 1,000 households by mail and thousands of others through an online survey.

Student researcher and statistics major, Jordan Wente, explained in a press release, “To get a good sample of current and potential visitors, we try to reach as many people as possible that are still representative of those who visit. To do this, tourism businesses and organizations operating in the region helped us compile a list of over 18,000 actual and potential visitors and are using this list to target groups by mail, email and social media.”

To increase the number of responses, Otter Tail Country Tourism Association members donated incentives for completing the survey, including a week-long stay and other overnight packages at area resorts.

The end goal is to grow and nurture the tourism economy in Otter Tail County.

After analyzing the results, the Center for Small Towns will present key findings at the end of the summer.

With a better understanding of tourists’ perceptions and experiences, local business leaders will be able to adapt and adjust their services to meet visitor needs and better reach potential visitors in an already crowded tourism market.

The Center for Small Towns is a community outreach program that marshals University of Minnesota resources toward assisting the state’s small towns with locally identified issues.

Otter Tail Country Tourism Association is a membership-based organization comprised of resorts, dining and tourism-related businesses that has been working to promote tourism in the region since 1976.

For further information, contact Jordan Wente at, or 507-696-7112.