Pure Michigan campaign big hit in 2012

Data from research firm Longwoods International

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) - The Pure Michigan campaign had its biggest impact to date in 2012, according to a research firm.

Longwoods International specializes in tourism advertising return on investment. The group released its report Monday at this year's Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism in Detroit.

Officials said Pure Michigan attracted 3.8 million out-of-state visitors to the state, who spent a record high of $1.1 billion at Michigan businesses.

The report found the Pure Michigan campaign generated 580,000 more trips to Michigan in 2012 than in 2011.

Officials said the visitors generated $79.1 million in new state tax revenues -- or $5.76 for every dollar spent on out-of-state Pure Michigan advertisements.

"The Pure Michigan campaign plays a vital role in growing our tourism industry by consistently attracting new visitors to Michigan and delivering a strong return on investment for the state," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said in a news release. "These impressive results showcase the power of Pure Michigan, and demonstrate the vast potential we are seeking to tap into with our efforts to expand this campaign into international markets."

Of the out-of-state visitors last year, 2.3 million came from the Great Lakes region and 1.5 million came from distant markets around the country.

In 2011, the Pure Michigan summer advertising campaign motivated a total of 3.2 million trips from out-of-state -- 2 million from the Great Lakes region and 1.2 million from distant markets.

The 2013 Pure Michigan national advertising campaign launched March 18 and is currently airing on more than 25 cable channels. The national campaign television ads, which include national partner ads from Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Mackinac Island, The Henry Ford and Traverse City, will air more than 5,000 times through June. The total budget for the 2013 national campaign is $13 million.

"The positive impact of the Pure Michigan campaign, illustrated by this data, provides a strong foundation for our efforts to raise awareness of Michigan as a national travel destination through our largest advertising campaign to date," said George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "With a new five-year, statewide tourism industry strategic plan in place and a high level of engagement at the local level, we are in a terrific position to capitalize on this growing number of out-of-state visitors choosing Michigan as their vacation destination."