Cable TV Campaign to Help Michigan Tourism
Michigan is preparing to launch a national cable TV campaign to boost its tourism industry, which analysts expect to decline in 2009 because of the slumping economy.
Michigan State University analysts said Monday (March 23) that tourism spending and volume is expected to decline by 3% to 4% this year. The prediction was made during the first day of the Driving Tourism 2009 Conference in Detroit, according to USA Today.
Today, officials with the state's “Pure Michigan” campaign plan to detail their first national tourism campaign. The $10 million effort is expected to begin March 30 on 15 cable networks including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the Golf Channel and A&E.
The campaign – which will feature four new television commercials – is scheduled to run through June.
Michigan's tourism industry typically gets about 70% of its tourists from within the state, which has been hit hard by recession.
Tourism analysts say the number of visitors from out-of-state also may drop because several states are worse off in 2009 than a year ago. But the upcoming Pure Michigan campaign could help offset that trend by advertising the state's lakes, public golf courses and parks in new markets.
"Without this campaign, it would be worse. That's the bottom line," said George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, a unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Tourists may find travel prices will be lower by 1% to 5% this year depending on what happens with gasoline prices.
"If gas prices stay down in the $2 range that they're at now, we could see a 4% to 5% decline in prices which will make Michigan's travel product even more affordable," Michigan State University tourism analyst Don Holecek said in a statement.
University analysts say the economy caused tourism to struggle in 2008. But the state's advertising campaign, generally favorable weather and the state's travel products helped offset the economy to some degree last year.
The state's tourism budget this fiscal year is $30 million, the largest in Michigan history.
Travel Michigan says that for every $1 spent on out-of-state advertising, the state collects more than twice as much in new tax revenues.