As economy improves, so does Michigan tourism | Crain’s Detroit Business

An improving economy is contributing to a strong tourism season in Michigan.From state park campsite reservations to national park visits, from Mackinac Bridge crossings to hotel stays, tourists are driving a solid Michigan summer for the tourism industry, data show.People in the industry, including visitors’ bureau directors and hotel operators, are optimistic the pace will continue as visitors flock to see Michigan’s fall colors.Travel in Michigan, in general, has been rising steadily since the bottom of the recession in 2008 and 2009, leaders of local, regional and state agencies say. The economy now is in its eighth year of expansion.State tourism officials also point to evidence that the state’s Pure Michigan tourism campaign is leading to more brand awareness and more visits to the state. But the data they rely on are estimates based on calculations that the state won’t make publicly available.Anecdotally, industry members say they believe their investment in Pure Michigan advertising — a number of regional travel bureaus help pay for the commercials — is worth it when they see more people booking hotel rooms and visiting events.”I don’t think there’s ever a time when you can say one particular thing does the trick,” said Michael O’Callaghan, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You can have a great advertising campaign for a candy bar and people will buy it once, and if the candy bar stinks, they’re not coming back. We’ve got a pretty good-tasting candy bar.”

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Source: As economy improves, so does Michigan tourism | Crain’s Detroit Business

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