Michigan Tourism Business
The Industry's eNews Source

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 www.imninc.com/tourism   VOLUME 5 ISSUE 6  
A publication of the MSU Tourism Resource Center and the Department of CARRS, now with funding support from MSU Extension -- "Bringing Knowledge to Life"
The MTB Team
Donald F. Holecek

Editor & Publisher:
Lori A. Langone

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Tourism Resource Links
Michigan Tourism Outcomes Soar...

... as Post Labor Day Schools Law Takes Effect 

By Steve Yencich, President/CEO of MHM&RA*

“Hotel occupancy results demonstrate law provides boost in spite of weak state economy”

Michigan’s new law requiring all state schools to open after Labor Day is providing everything its supporters said it would, in spite of a weak state economy.  The Michigan Hotel, Motel & Resort Association (MHMRA) asked members to participate in a statewide survey comparing occupancy levels in the last two weeks of August this year to that same time last year.

According to survey respondents, 53% of hotels had higher or much higher occupancy levels in the last two weeks of August.   Twenty nine percent of properties reported that occupancy levels remained the same.  Sixty two percent of property managers reported that the new Post Labor Day School law had a beneficial impact on their property’s occupancy in late August. 

“Approximately 70% of state tourism comes from in-state residents,” said MHMRA’s CEO, Steve Yencich. “That makes these results especially impressive because summer travel by Michigan residents was likely suppressed by a weakened state economy and high gas prices. 

“Hotel occupancy is a good barometer of overall tourism outcomes.  These results are good news for golf courses, restaurants and all segments of a diverse tourism industry.” 

Of the survey respondents, 48% managed resort properties, 27% were rural and 25% were urban property managers.  Twenty seven percent of responding properties were full service, 33% were limited service and 40% were independently owned and operated.

The survey presented one surprising result.  The new law also led to marked increases in hotel occupancy over Labor Day weekend.  Forty three percent of properties had higher or much higher occupancy levels over the holiday weekend.

“Apparently increased availability of family vacation time leading up to the holiday prompted more people to extend their stay on into Labor Day weekend,” said Yencich.  “Michigan’s post-Labor Day school law was a real boost for families, tourism and our state’s economy.”

Tourism is Michigan’s 2nd largest industry and contributes over $2.4 billion annually in federal, state and local tax receipts. 

*The 100 year old Michigan Hotel, Motel & Resort Association is a trade association based in Lansing. The association advocates, educates, and markets on behalf of lodging properties throughout the state. For more information, please visit

To view a handout of Michigan Tourism Facts ...


"A Plan for the Industry, By the Industry"
You've probably already heard about the Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan Project, a grassroots effort to create the first-ever comprehensive strategic plan for Michigan's tourism industry.  This effort is being coordinated by the Tourism Industry Planning Council (over 75 key organizations within Michigan's tourism industry), Michigan State University, and Travel Michigan.

Work is currently underway on eight broad issue areas that have been identified as key to the plan.  Teams have been formed and are currently assessing opportunities and barriers within each area.  Their work is being based on the team's knowledge of the industry, feedback received from over 250 industry stakeholders who participated in the statewide regional listening sessions, and information gathered from other industry experts.  As teams have discussed and evaluated information from each area, "issue statements" have now been developed which will guide their work and help form the foundation of the Plan.

What's your opinion? 
Here's your opportunity to review the efforts currently underway and provide feedback.  Please click on the URL below to go to the Plan's home page and click on the "Comment Form" button to review the eight areas and to have an opportunity to comment on each.


Thank you in advance for taking time to share your comments!

U.S. Travel and Tourism Industry Status Update

Growth in real tourism output slowed to an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2006, according to data released today [September 20, 2006] by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

In the first quarter of 2006, real tourism output grew 5.0 percent (revised).  By comparison, real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the second quarter of 2006, and 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2006.

Tourism employment rose 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2006, the largest quarterly increase in direct tourism employment in two years.  By comparison, overall U.S. employment grew 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2006.

Other highlights from this release of the travel and tourism satellite accounts include:

Prices for tourism goods and services rose 7.4 percent in the second quarter of 2006, while the overall GDP price index rose 3.3 percent in the second quarter.

Total current-dollar tourism-related output increased to $1.2 trillion in the second quarter of 2006.

Total tourism-related employment accounted for 8.3 million jobs in the first quarter of 2006.

The full text of the release on BEA's web site can be found at www.bea.gov/bea/newsrel/tournewsrelease.htm.

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Published by Lori A. Langone
Copyright 2006 Michigan State University Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.
Published by the Tourism Resource Center and the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies with funding support from Michigan State University Extension - "Helping people improve their lives through an educational process that applies knowledge to critical needs, issues, and opportunities." MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity institution.
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