John Edman has served 17 years as Tourism Director and has been appointed by three Governors of three different political parties. He is responsible for the development of statewide plans to promote Minnesota as a tourism destination. Edman is the state’s chief spokesperson for tourism-related issues and manages Explore Minnesota with a staff of 45 and a budget of $14.0 million.
Edman helped create Explore Minnesota as a separate public/private state tourism agency and generated over $10 million in new private sector match in 2016. Under his leadership, Explore Minnesota generated 3.5 million new incremental trips, $389 million in new spending and $37.3 million in new state taxes from 2016 spring-summer advertising. Explore Minnesota’s recent marketing campaign generated a 9-to-1 ROI, according to Longwoods International.
Under his tenure, Explore Minnesota was honored with six Mercury Awards, two Odyssey and one Adrian Award, and John was elected by his colleagues in other states as the U.S. State Travel Director of the Year in 2015. He is a resident of Stillwater, is married with two children and loves Minnesota and the great outdoors.