SOURCE: Travel Michigan

July 31, 2006 12:00 ET

Michigan's Longest Summer Promises to Boost Tourism

LANSING, MI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 31, 2006 -- Last year the Legislature passed and Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed House Bill 4803 which requires that beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, all Michigan public schools begin classes after Labor Day. This effectively increases the length of this summer by two weeks for many Michigan families, making 2006 Michigan's Longest Summer.

In order to encourage in-state travel in August, Travel Michigan, the state of Michigan's official tourism promotion agency, launched two marketing initiatives today. First, the new Pure Michigan television advertising campaign is scheduled to run in the Alpena, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Marquette and Traverse City markets for two weeks, starting today.

The Pure Michigan advertising campaign promotes Michigan's natural assets and many attractions within the state and Michigan's world-class golf. The voice of the Pure Michigan advertising campaign is long-time Michigan booster and former resident, Tim Allen.

"We are going to take advantage of the month of August to remind Michigan residents that their home state is a great place to vacation," said George Zimmermann, Vice President, Travel Michigan. "As gas prices escalate, planning a trip close to home is an economical way to enjoy the last month of summer. And, www.michigan.org is the place to get your Michigan summer getaway information."

The second marketing initiative is a partnership with the Michigan Lottery. The Lottery will print a Michigan tourism message promoting michigan.org on every lottery ticket purchased in August, an estimated 218 million tickets.

"The partnership with the Lottery Commission represents an outstanding opportunity to promote Michigan tourist destinations," said James C. Epolito, President and CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "This is a very cost effective way to connect a large audience of lottery ticket purchasers with our travel Web site. We are looking forward to a busy August at destinations throughout the state as a result."

A study prepared by Michigan State University last year estimates that shifting the start of the school year after Labor Day will result in $132 million in new tourism spending at Michigan businesses and will generate an additional $10 million in state tax collections.

The idea of doing an in-state August tourism promotion was one of the recommendations of a Michigan tourism industry marketing advisory group which met last December. Ken Hayward, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Grand Hotel, and Vice Chair of the Michigan Travel Commission, was one of the participants of that advisory group. "We encouraged Travel Michigan to come up with creative ways to help stimulate additional August travel this year, during Michigan's Longest Summer," Hayward said. "I believe the Pure Michigan television campaign and the promotion with the Michigan Lottery will help accomplish that goal."

Visitors spend $17.5 billion annually traveling in Michigan, generating $971 million in state taxes, and accounting for 193,000 jobs statewide, making tourism a vital industry in the state.

Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the state of Michigan's official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state's tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services. For more information on traveling in the State of Michigan, visit the official travel Web site at michigan.org, or call (888) 78-GREAT.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kirsten Borgstrom
    (517) 335-1871
    Jenny Schilp
    (248) 225-6744