At the state’s annual tourism conference in St. Paul, Explore Minnesota announced a new “Find Your True North” tourism marketing campaign.

Set to debut this spring, the new campaign leverages a larger movement in the North Star State. In the same way the South, Southwest and Pacific Northwest all mean something distinct, Explore Minnesota aims to help make the North less of a direction and more of a calling – one filled with a sense of adventure, culture and curiosity.

Research shows that travelers want to experience new and unique things when they travel. The True North campaign not only highlights the hidden gems and popular attractions found throughout Minnesota—including distinct outdoor adventures, urban cultural experiences and notable landmarks—but the passion points of travel and human connections that all visitors can relate to. True North isn’t a direction.

“Skipping across the headwaters of the Mississippi with your kids. Fishing one of our 11,842 lakes. Dining at James Beard Award-winning restaurants. Travelers can experience all of these moments and more when they find their ‘True North’ in Minnesota,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota. “This is an exciting state and an exciting time. We’re thrilled to part of a larger movement that will help differentiate and more clearly define Minnesota as the North.”

The new campaign will begin this spring and feature an all-new series of television, print and digital ads in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and across Minnesota. Additional target markets include Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Omaha and Winnipeg. The campaign will also bring Minnesota to a national audience with hyper-focused online targeting based on relevant sites and lifestyle characteristics. This new strategy will reach people who are passionate about hiking, biking, and arts and culture, and are willing to travel and take on new experiences. Creative materials will incorporate Minnesota talent, including music by Michael Shynes, Dan Rodriguez and Chris Koza, Minnesota-based actors, directors, photographers and production crews.

The new campaign was created in partnership with Minnesota-based agencies Adventure Creativeand True Media. Campaign elements will be integrated on, Explore Minnesota social channels, statewide publications and more.

As the state’s tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota pursues an entrepreneurial approach, leveraging the state’s tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. Tourism is a $15.3 billion industry in Minnesota, and a key sector of the state’s economy. The leisure and hospitality industry–a major provider of tourism services–employs more than 270,000 workers, representing 11 percent of Minnesota’s private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 18 percent of the state’s sales tax revenues. Minnesota welcomes more than 73 million domestic and international travelers annually.

A video highlighting Minnesota’s tourism and economic impact can be viewed here.