Pure Michigan Campaign Brought $1 Billion in Tourism in 2012

The "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign was a rousing success in 2012, according to new figures released on Monday. The report, compiled by research firm Longwoods International, estimated that the campaign resulted in 580,000 more trips to the state than in 2011, and generated an additional $80 million in new business, according to reports by television station WOOD and other media outlets.

The Pure Michigan campaign to spark more tourism both from within and from outside the state launched in 2006. In 2011, state officials began placing a greater emphasis on the campaign's potential impact, and increased funding. This year, the tourism initiative will receive a $13 million boost in television advertising. The new ads will air around the country, as reported by the Associated Press.

Here is some of the key information that has emerged from the new report on tourism in Michigan.

* All told, the Pure Michigan campaign helped convince more than 3.8 million out-of-state visitors to take a trip to Michigan in 2012. Those 3.8 million people generated an estimated $1.1 billion in tourism, as noted by WOOD.

* Research by Longwoods International also found that the Pure Michigan campaign generated an estimated $5.76 in tourism for every $1 spent on out-of-state advertising.

* Gov. Rick Snyder is reportedly quite pleased with the Pure Michigan campaign, stating in a news release on Monday that it "plays a vital role in growing our tourism industry by consistently attracting new visitors to Michigan, as well as "delivering a strong return on investment," as quoted by WOOD.

* Last year, Longwoods International conducted an online survey to determine the impact that putting an even greater emphasis on the Pure Michigan campaign in 2011 had made on the state's tourism. That report, released in 2012, indicated at that time that the efficacy of the Pure Michigan campaign in attracting tourists from outside the state looked to be on an upswing, bringing in 3.2 million visitors from out-of-state and raising nearly $1 billion.

* Longwoods International's 2012 report was released on Monday at the start of the annual Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism, a three-day affair that takes place at Detroit's Renaissance Center each year.

* As noted by The Michigan Traveler, however, not all the numbers released Monday regarding the campaign showed indications of being on the same upward trend. The overall return on the Pure Michigan campaign's investment -- the amount the campaign brings in overall versus what is spent -- dropped from $9.85 per $1 in 2011 to $8.06 per $1 in 2012.

* Still, the vice president of Travel Michigan, George Zimmerman, told The Michigan Traveler on Monday that the state has "tourism momentum."

Vanessa Evans is a musician and freelance writer based in Michigan, with a lifelong interest in politics and public issues.

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