'Pure Michigan' brand strong even after Flint water crisis, Gov. Rick Snyder says

Gov. Rick Snyder said on Apil 19, 2016 that the Flint water crisis has not affected the Pure Michigan tourism brand.

LANSING, MI -- Early numbers indicate that Pure Michigan tourism hasn't been affected by the Flint water crisis, Gov. Rick Snyder told reporters at the Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism Tuesday.

"If you look at it, the industry is doing tremendously well in our state. They had a wonderful year last year, this year's looking very strong," Snyder said.

A report by Longwoods International found that in 2015 the Pure Michigan advertisements inspired 4.6 million trips and nearly $1.4 billion in spending from out-of-state visitors. Read the full report here.

But at the beginning of 2016 is when news of leaded water in Flint made national and international headlines. A water source switch resulted in more corrosive water leaching lead into the city's water supply, exposing an unknown number of children to the toxin.

Asked if the water crisis could yet negatively affect the Pure Michigan brand Snyder pointed to the MSU Tourism Outlook, which showed strong projections for 2016.

"Not from the information that was provided to me today, and that was from the travel people. They were saying they were not seeing negative implications or concerns for people over Flint with respect to their travel plans coming to Michigan," Snyder said.

Travel Michigan spokeswoman Michelle Grinnell said that so far, all indications are that people aren't connecting Pure Michigan with the Flint water crisis.

"What we have been seeing is people are largely separating Pure Michigan and leisure and travel efforts from the concerns in Flint. This is a good indication of the strength of the Pure Michigan brand," Grinnell said.

Snyder said he has been in conversation with local Flint leaders about encouraging people to visit restaurants and destinations within the city.

"In many respects it's an opportunity to highlight Flint in a positive way," Snyder said.

Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, said the Pure Michigan brand had raised awareness of Michigan as a tourism destination over many years.

"In the past 10 years we have made great strides in raising awareness of Michigan as a leisure travel destination – but there continues to be tremendous growth potential for the industry," Lorenz said in a press release. . "It is an exciting time for our industry. The passion, dedication and collaboration on display at this year's Tourism Conference is a great indication that the future for travel in Michigan is strong."

Lorenz told attendees at the conference Tuesday that a good way to support Flint was to plan a trip there, Grinnell said.

[Full article here.]

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