'Pure Michigan' Generates Record $1 Billion in Tourism

Michigan's famed "Pure Michigan" national tourism campaign attracted a record number of visitors to the Great Lakes State in 2011, according to a new study by Longwoods International, the results of which were released last week by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which sponsors the annual ad campaign each summer.

According to the study, summer advertising motivated 3.2 million trips to Michigan last year by out-of-state visitors, who spent a record $1 billion at Michigan businesses and paid a whopping $70 million in Michigan taxes. Because the state spent just $14.2 million spent on advertising last year, that means it received $4.90 back for each dollar invested, according to state tourism officials, which said the cumulative return on investment since the Pure Michigan campaign began in 2006 is now $3.70, up from $3.29 last year.

"The Pure Michigan campaign is delivering impressive results for our state, bringing millions of new visitors and their dollars to Michigan," said Gov. Rick Snyder. "It is because of the campaign's positive impact on Michigan jobs and businesses and proven return on investment that I have made consistent and substantial funding for Pure Michigan a top priority of my administration."

Of the 3.2 million out-of-state visitors generated by Pure Michigan last summer, 2 million came from the Great Lakes region and 1.2 million from more distant U.S. markets. In 2010, the Pure Michigan summer advertising motivated a total of 2 million trips from out of state, including 1.2 million from the Great Lakes region and nearly 900,000 from more distant markets.

"This data shows steady increases in both the number of visitors Pure Michigan is bringing to the state and the amount of money they are spending at Michigan businesses on those trips," said George Zimmermann, vice president for Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "We are only in our fourth year of national advertising, but we are making progress toward our goal of making Michigan one of America's most popular summer vacation destinations."

The 2012 Pure Michigan national advertising campaign will air more than 5,000 Pure Michigan TV commercials on cable TV channels through June. The total budget for the 2012 national campaign is $12 million — making it the largest national tourism ad campaign in Michigan's history.