Pure Michigan Conference 2012 at the Amway Grand in Grand Rapids was the best conference ever. Over 900 participants this year and the mood was very positive. Michigan is ranked No. 7 nationally in both total and leisure travel by the U.S. Travel Association. From our Governor Rick Snyder and many of our State representatives and “Miss Michigan” Elizabeth Wertenberger. Also in attendance was Dan Musser from the Grand Hotel and Mary McGuire from the Travel and Tourism Bureau on Mackinac Island. Michigan was well represented at this conference. George Zimmermann the director of “Pure Michigan” and Steve Yencich director of the Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association along with the mayor of Grand Rapids George Heartwell presented us with a very bright outlook for the future of tourism in Michigan. It was again an honor to photograph this event.
Below are some highlights and additional information, links for your pleasure.
According to at least one study, Pure Michigan returns more than $2 in tax revenue for every $1 invested, making this a very successful program that takes pressure off future budgets. … Our first priority in Michigan is revitalizing our economy and creating jobs. The Pure Michigan campaign attracts thousands of new tourists to Michigan, creating opportunities for local business owners such as restaurants, gas stations, hotels, bait shops, boat rental companies, and everything in between.We had a very early spring in March this year.
Tourism officials and industry analysts say the campaign is paying big dividends for Michigan: 2 million visitors who wouldn’t otherwise have visited, spending $605 million. And between 2009 and 2010, the tourism industry grew by $2 billion, enough to generate an additional 10,000 jobs for Michigan, they say.
“I think the Pure Michigan campaign has to rank among the most well-crafted and appropriate destination campaigns in the United States, Yesawich said. We focus on destination marketing. George Zimmermann is doing a terrific job, in a challenging economic environment, to make Michigan a summer seasonal destination.”“According to at least one study, Pure Michigan returns more than $2 in tax revenue for every $1 invested, making this a very successful program that takes pressure off future budgets. … Our first priority in Michigan is revitalizing our economy and creating jobs. The Pure Michigan campaign attracts thousands of new tourists to Michigan, creating opportunities for local business owners such as restaurants, gas stations, hotels, bait shops, boat rental companies, and everything in between. According to the 2010 study, the latest available, more than 2 million visitors who would not have traveled to Michigan otherwise spent $605 million statewide as a direct result of the $9.8 million Pure Michigan program. This research revealed that this new visitor spending generated $43 million in incremental state tax collections, creating a return on investment of $4.32 for each state dollar spent on tourism advertising”.
Key to Industry Success? Keep Working to Maintain Rapport with Policymakers
One of the biggest threats to our industry’s success is complacency. It would be easy to think now that we’ve won $25 million in annual funding for Pure Michigan, we can forget about legislators and just go back to work. But while improved, Michigan still ranks only 14th nationally in total tourism spending. (Shouldn’t we be in at least the top ten)? More importantly, doing nothing would eventually put us in the same place we were back in 2003, when our industry had no unified message and absolutely no collective rapport with legislators in Lansing.
If we want to make gains in the future, it’s important for us to continue to do the things that have brought us success in the past. We must continue to keep Michigan’s tourism Industry, it’s issues, and the important role tourism plays in our state’s economy in front of legislators, the media, industry stakeholders and the voting public, (especially in this election year).
That’s why MLTA created the Tourism Improving Michigan’s Economy (TIME) Alliance, Inc. Last fall, when 64 freshmen legislators had yet to complete their first year, TIME mailed a series of five letters to all members of the House and Senate to provide basic information on Michigan’s Tourism Industry. But orientation efforts can’t and didn’t stop there…
“Take TIME for Tourism” Radio Ad Campaign Delivers our Industry’s Message
As we move closer to all-important House elections, we’ve taken such efforts to the next level with the creation of the “Take TIME for Tourism” radio ad campaign. This initiative employs a series of 60 second radio ads which discuss basic tourism industry facts.
Thus far, seven ads have been produced and aired. However, the truly creative aspect of this campaign is that none of the ads are read by radio personalities. Instead, all ads feature the voices of the industry leaders who invested in this important informational campaign. While these are radio ads, our staff has added videos to each to make them a little more interesting. Here are six of the seven ads we’ve aired to date. Just click on the their names to listen to the ad.
Dan Musser – Grand Hotel – Importance/Effectiveness of Pure Michigan campaign
Amy Seng – Ludington CVB – Tourism’s impact on local jobs
Brad Van Dommelen – Traverse City CVB – Permanent funding for Pure Michigan
Tom Nemacheck – UPTRA – Importance of Pure Michigan and tourism for Upper Peninsula
Dave Clouse – Education Foundation – Number of colleges offering hospitality degrees
Peter Fitzsimons – Petsokey Area CVB – Jobs (direct and secondary) tourism provides