Michigan Tourism Business
The Industry's eNews Source

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 www.imninc.com/tourism   VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1  
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
Editor-in-Chief:
Donald F. Holecek

Editor & Publisher:
Lori A. Langone
 
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EDITORIAL BY DON HOLECEK

Unfortunately, the first month of the new year did not bring any relief to Michigan’s struggling economy. During January we learned that the state’s budget is $800 million in the red; Ford lost over $12 billion in 2006; and Pfizer is cutting 2,500 high paying jobs in Michigan. This is enough bad news for a whole year, and we have nearly eleven more months ahead of us! Yet, we are fortunate because all of this is happening at a time when the U.S. economy is very robust; otherwise our already difficult economic circumstances would be strikingly more desperate. 
 

Even in these difficult times, there are reasons to be optimistic about the prospects for Michigan’s tourism industry. Winter finally arrived in January along with a timely chop in gasoline prices. This combination of events and pent up demand among winter sports enthusiasts may be enough to salvage what started as a bleak winter for many tourism-dependent businesses across the state. Looking ahead to the rest of the year, we can expect the positive impact of the state’s investment in the “Pure Michigan” advertising campaign to accelerate. The challenge we face is maintaining funding for the campaign beyond 2007 when the initial $15 million to support it has been fully invested
 

Meeting this challenge is a central objective in the Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan that is being completed by the Michigan Tourism Industry Planning Council. Work on this plan began in May 2006 when the Council first met to identify the issues to be addressed. Work teams of Council members formed to address each of these issues, and input was gathered from across the industry over the next several months. In November, the Council met to review and discuss the work teams’ reports. The Michigan Travel Commission has reviewed the reports and has agreed to assume the leadership role in implementing the plan once it is finalized and approved by the Planning Council.  

 

The writing team, formed to draft the plan, has integrated the team reports and other inputs generated over the course of the project. Preliminary working versions have been written, reviewed and revised, and a draft of the plan was distributed to the Planning Council for review earlier this month. The draft will be revised as needed to reflect feedback from Council members. The resulting plan will be presented to the industry at the “Driving Tourism 2007” Michigan Lodging & Tourism Conference on March 26 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme. 
 

With the delivery of the plan in March, the support role that MSU has played in developing this plan will end. We look forward to being of further assistance to the Michigan tourism industry as it moves forward to implement its plan.
 

"DRIVING TOURISM 2007"

Premier sponsor of the conference: Midwest Living

In a nutshell: 
Michigan Lodging & Tourism Conference

“Driving Tourism 2007…uniting, celebrating and building Michigan’s Tourism Industry!”

§      
Dates: March 26 and 27 (pre-conference meetings on March 25)
§       Location: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme
§       Registration fee: $200 – What a deal!!
          - two breakfasts
          - two lunches
          - two dinners
          - three receptions and a hospitality suite
          - lots of networking time
§       Special lodging rate: $79 and $99 – Another great deal!!!

Program highlights:

§      
Michigan tourism forecast for 2007
§       Update on “Pure Michigan” campaign
§       Unveiling of the new Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan
§       Many great speakers
§       Nominations for
the best employee award accepted until March 1, 2007
§      
Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities still available
§       Agenda and registration forms available on
Michigan Hotel, Motel and Resort Association web site
§       For additional information, please call 517-267-8989

The Michigan Lodging & Tourism Conference is a result of joined efforts and programs by the 
Michigan Hotel, Motel & Resort Association (Annual Convention), Travel Michigan (Michigan Tourism Conference) and Michigan State University’s Tourism Resource Center (Michigan Tourism Outlook Conference).
 

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE

"Driving Tourism 2007" ...uniting, celebrating and building Michigan's Tourism Industry!

Richard A. Winn
Amway Grand Plaza
Grand Rapids

Planning an industry-wide conference is no small feat, but it’s our intention to do even better than last year’s very successful, first-ever Michigan Lodging & Tourism Conference. This year’s mega-event
“Driving Tourism 2007” (March 26-27) will once again bring together all segments of our industry to further strengthen performance for the coming year. Our host property, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City has offered incredible room rates, with hotel rooms at just $79 and tower rooms at $99. An astounding value replete with beautiful Northern Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay views…

Our Convention Committee has made great effort to contract with the best speakers, focusing on the most pressing topics to ensure our industry comes strongly out of the blocks in the coming year. So what can you expect from your attendance at "Driving Tourism 2007?"

We’ll have a very special keynote presentation on marketing to those who represent the vacation decision-makers in many families. “She’s Got the Power,” sponsored by Midwest Living, will help all attendees to recognize and market to the pivotal power of women in work, leisure and vacation travel. Whether it’s a family vacation, business meeting, or a getaway weekend, find out what it takes to attract the women of the household to your destination, business or hotel.

What impact and inroads were made in developing new markets for Travel Michigan’s new “Pure Michigan” branding campaign? What was the return on investment for last year’s historic $13.2 million dollar campaign? What can we expect from the 2007 campaign, and how can destinations, tourism businesses and lodging properties tie into the marketing momentum it will generate? Travel Michigan’s George Zimmermann will answer these and other questions in his aptly titled presentation; “Pure Michigan.”

We all wonder what we could do to get our customers to stay a little while longer, spend a little more, and tell all their friends about the experience they had. In “Wowing Customers One Generation at a Time” you’ll achieve a better understanding of consumerism - and how buying habits follow generational programming. Get ready to listen, laugh and learn as we dig into why each of us Sponsor follows some basic generational rules - even when we think we are acting as individuals.

Where did Michigan’s tourism industry land for all of calendar year 2006? What were the factors that generated growth in these challenging economic times? What do the empirical tea leaves foretell for the coming tourism season; and how can your destination or business leverage that knowledge into enhanced growth and profitability? Professor Don Holecek of Michigan State University will be present to shed light on things past and what the future holds for our industry in his excellent “Michigan Tourism: Year in Review and Outlook.”

As the popularity of the internet grows, so does its complexity. Since the web has established itself as the preferred consumer choice for researching and booking travel, the proper positioning of your travel product online is increasingly important. Attending “Travel Odyssey— Navigating a Path to Find the Web Savvy Consumer” will take the mystery out of online marketing by discussing strategies and tactics that travel industry professionals are utilizing to position their websites and optimize online marketing opportunities.

There’s only one behavior that if exhibited frequently and effectively guarantees enhanced revenue for your business … SALES! But your competition is working every day to take your customers away from you! Do you know the sales tricks-of-the-trade that can help you lead your market? The New Age of Selling will provide you basic and advanced techniques you can use to build your profitability and grow your future!

You’ll also learn of legislative threats and opportunities during our special legislative panel discussion on tourism promotion funding, industry taxation and other critical issues. There’ll be an expanded trade show, student/employer roundtables, and as always, the chance to network and further strengthen the ties that bind our industry together, all for the express purpose of “Driving Tourism 2007”.

(Reprinted with permission from the January 2007 issue of Michigan Lodging)

 
Published by Lori A. Langone
Copyright © 2007 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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