Sen. John Proos: Pure Michigan generated $1 billion in tourismPublished 11:15pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Pure Michigan campaign is much more than just a cool slogan and vibrant, eye-catching television ads.
It is a successful, productive promotion program that has had a measurable effect on boosting tourism in southwest Michigan and the entire state.
According to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the state tourism group Travel Michigan, a record number of out-of-state visitors were attracted to the state in 2011 as a result of last summer’s Pure Michigan campaign.
The summer promotion generated 3.2 million trips to Michigan and visitors spent $1 billion at local businesses, paying $70 million in taxes.
To see the direct, positive effect of the awarding-winning program, just talk to one of the thousands of Michigan job providers and families who depend on tourism.
John Marple, who owns the Old Harbor Inn in South Haven, said: “The Pure Michigan campaign has helped get the word out to people all over Michigan and beyond that there is much to do and see in southwest Michigan.
“The ads have given my business a boost and have done the same for many hotel owners across the state. Right now, we are gearing up for another season of growth at the inn.”
In addition to supporting and creating jobs in a flourishing Michigan tourism industry, the program is helping the state budget.
For every dollar we invested in Pure Michigan last summer, the state got back almost five dollars in revenue.
The 2011 summer campaign cost $14.3 million and brought back $4.90 in taxes for each dollar spent.
The state also announced a new advertising partnership with Coca-Cola, in which idyllic Michigan scenery will cover Coca-Cola trucks and vending machines at no cost to the state.
I have always been a strong supporter of Pure Michigan because it accomplishes three goals at once: helping keep and create jobs, generating more state revenues and improving Michigan’s national image to entrepreneurs considering locating in our state.
The campaign is an effective investment, and I hope its success continues in Southwest Michigan.
Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.
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