News From Travel Michigan Vice President George Zimmermann

I have spent the last week with Governor Snyder, MEDC CEO Mike Finney and a Michigan business delegation in China. One of the primary objectives of this mission is announcing the entry of Pure Michigan tourism marketing into the Chinese market. This is the first market expansion from the $4 million funding increase for international marketing in our FY ’14 budget. That increase was proposed by Governor Snyder and approved by the legislature.

In the past seven days, we have held tourism forums and press events in Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing, generating travel trade press coverage and stimulating interest from Chinese tour operators. Delta airlines, Marriott and the U.S. State Department also participated in these press events with our delegation. I also have had a series of meetings with Chinese travel companies and with the Chinese office of Brand USA.

This launch obviously is just a first step for us in the Chinese market. We will need to secure representation in China to help get Michigan included in Chinese tour operator itineraries, assist in hosting Chinese media in Michigan and work with us to develop consumer promotions in the Chinese market. More to come on all of this.

Our work in China this week exemplifies the expanded role international marketing will have as we move forward in 2014. We met recently with Brand USA to assess opportunities for next year. I wanted to alert you to one those opportunities, because the deadlines are coming up quickly.

Brand USA’s Global Inspiration Guide is their published and digital guide of the U.S., distributed to potential visitors around the world. We purchased a two-page spread in the 2013 edition and will again in 2014. Here are the basics from Brand USA: “Global Reach Inspiration Guide: A full-color spread in all nine language editions with 550,000 printed copies plus 30,000,000+ digital impressions. Net rate for the state is $46,000. DMO’s will be offered an opportunity to place incremental space at state rate.”

John Deleva at Miles Partnership is managing this project for Brand USA. If you would like more information on Brand USA’s Global Inspiration Guide, you can reach John at We will be presenting additional Brand USA international marketing opportunities as they become available.

The Michigan Travel Commission meets on Friday, September 20th, at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids at 10:00 am. The leading agenda item for this meeting is discussing next steps for advancing the Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan. Industry attendance and participation at Travel Commission meetings is always encouraged.

One output of the Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan is the launch of the Michigan Tourism Collaboration, Cooperation and Partnerships (CCP) Toolbox. This is a LinkedIn group that is designed to facilitate the development of new, innovative and non-traditional collaboration, cooperation and partnerships that will increase and improve tourism activity throughout the state. To join the group, please access LinkedIn and search for the “MI Tourism Collaboration, Cooperation & Partnerships Toolbox.”

Also related to the strategic plan, thanks to everyone who has already completed the short survey on service excellence and the ‘Pure Michigan Promise’ that I highlighted two weeks ago. We have already received 350 responses, but we’d love to receive more! I encourage you to take a few moments to complete the survey and to share the link widely with industry colleagues.

Safe travels always,

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

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Categories: Travel & Vacations

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