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Pre-Labor Day School Affects Family Travel, Minnesota Tourism

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a perennial question in Minnesota: how much do school start dates affect tourism in the Land of 10,000 Lakes?

A new University of Minnesota study is aimed at answering that question.

The U of M’s Tourism Center looked at summer trips taken by families when schools begin classes before Labor Day.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

Director Ingrid Schneider says there’s a clear connection.

“The impact of the Labor Day school start not only changes when people travel but changes the amount they travel,” said Schneider.

Family trips of two or more nights decreased 50 percent in August or September when the start of school was before Labor Day. Even family trips from May to September dropped 30 percent when classes started before Labor Day.

Schneider hopes the study conducted in Minnesota and four other states will provide hard data for policy makers when they mandate school start dates.

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