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North Central Regional Extension Publications are subject to peer review and prepared as a part of the Cooperative Extension activities of the thirteen land-grant universities of the 12 North Central States, in cooperation with the Extension Service-U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. The following states cooperated in making this publication available: University of Illinois, Purdue University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, North Dakota State University, Ohio State University, South Dakota State Universiety, and the University of Wisconsin.


The travel and tourism industry is the third largest employer in the United States, supporting over 5.85 million travel-related jobs. Foreign and domestic visitors traveling in the United States generate over $327 billion in tourism revenues in a year, making travel and tourism the third largest retail sales industry.

If you target the tourist market, what types of products appeal to people who take part in different tourist activities? Are handcrafted items of interest to tourists? How can you improve existing marketing strategies?

To find answers to these questions, a research team from Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska gathered information from more than 1400 individuals on ways to improve the marketing of crafts and other products to tourists. Here are the major research findings and suggestions for you to consider.