Category: Travel & Vacations

News From Travel Michigan Vice President George Zimmermann


The 2014 Pure Michigan Govenor’s Conference on Tourism opened Sunday in Traverse City with record attendance of more than 1000 people from across Michigan and concluded yesterday afternoon. By all accounts, it was a very successful event, and I want to thank the team at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa for hosting the conference with such skill and class – a job very well done. I also want to publicly recognize the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association –Steve Yencich and Kylie Olanowski in particular – for their hard work, talent and leadership in managing this ever-growing and ever-more complex conference that has become the single most important gathering point for the Michigan tourism industry each year.

For those who are unable to attend this year’s conference, here are some of the highlights of our announcements at the conference:

The results are in for our 2013 summer out-of-state advertising. According to new research by Longwoods International, the Pure Michigan summer advertising attracted 4 million visitors to Michigan last summer, 2.4 million from the Great Lakes region and 1.6 million from more distant markets around the country. These four million visitors spent $1.2 billion at Michigan businesses last year, and they spent $87 million in Michigan taxes on their Michigan trips. We spent $13 million on the 2013 summer advertising which attracted these visitors. That means the state got $6.66 back in tax revenue for each advertising dollar we spent. All of these metrics – number of out-of-state visitors motivated, spending and taxes generated by their trips and our advertising return on investment – set new records. Since its launch in 2006, the Pure Michigan campaign has attracted 18.3 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan who spent $5.3 billion on their Michigan trips and paid $374 million in Michigan taxes.

For 2014, we announced that our $13 million national advertising campaign will launch next Monday, March 17. The buy includes $11 million on national cable TV networks, and for the first time, $2 million on national network TV – NBC, CBS, ABC – including the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America.” And our biggest Canadian media buy ever, at $2.5 million and including Toronto for the first time, launches April 7 across Ontario and all of Canada. We also announced that we now have representation in both the U.K. and Germany to boost our efforts in those markets, and that we will soon announce representation in China, the country sending the largest number of international travelers on trips worldwide with an estimated 100 million Chinese international travelers in 2014.

Attending my last Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism as the MEDC Vice President for Travel Michigan before my departure in late April, I also recognized two teams who are responsible for so much of what has been accomplished by Pure Michigan since its launch. They are the talented, creative staff at Travel Michigan, and the best agency team I have ever had the pleasure to work with at McCann Detroit, which created Pure Michigan.

It was a pleasure being with so many of you at this year’s conference.

Safe travels always,

For more information, contact George Zimmermann at (517) 335-1862.