Michigan tourism: more than marketing

Concentration in all seven goal areas of the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan will lead to continued success in the state’s tourism industry.

As previously described, the recently released 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan (MTSP) lays the foundation for the continued growth and prosperity of Michigan’s $18 billion a year tourism industry. In pursuit of the vision that Michigan is one of America’s favorite four seasons travel experiences, the plan centers on eight more specific goals focused on: Collaboration, Cooperation and Partnerships; Funding; Product Development; Promotion, Marketing and Communications; Public Policy and Government Support; Research and Technical Assistance; Resources and Environment; and, Service Excellence.


Photo: Relationships between the eight goal areas of the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan

With respect to Promotion, Marketing and Communications, the industry’s goal is to Strengthen and grow the Pure Michigan brand through effective mediums at the regional, national and international levels to attract first-time and repeat visitors. The Pure Michigan campaign has enjoyed phenomenal success at the regional and national levels, and the opportunities to expand the reach of the campaign still further and for the industry to capitalize on this success are tremendous. However, full achievement of the potential of Pure Michigan marketing requires that the industry and the state deliver on the promise of the campaign – that the experiences provided to visitors meet or better yet exceed the expectations that the Pure Michigan campaign has placed in their minds.

Thus, concerted effort in all seven of the other seven plan areas is required:

  • In the area of Product Development, improvement in the number, variety, quality and connectivity of transportation options into and throughout the state, of accommodations options and of attractions will help achieve the goal of enhancing infrastructure to support the delivery of a world class Pure Michigan travel experience;
  • In the area of Resources and Environment, simultaneous protection and promotion of the state’s natural, cultural, heritage, agricultural and built resources will aid in the goal to be internationally recognized for our stewardship of – and rich opportunities to experience – our varied resources; and
  • The area of Service Excellence recognizes that a delivery on the Pure Michigan promise requires the instilling of a culture of service excellence that fosters consistently superior customer service, across the state and across all types and varieties of tourism entities.

Achievement of these goals is in turn more likely with:

  • More and more effective Collaboration, Cooperation and Partnerships, both within and between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors;
  • More effective and more supportive Public Policy and Government Support; and
  • More relevant, more timely and more reliable Research and Technical Assistance.

Of course most though not all of those efforts will require some level of Funding. The intent of the plan, therefore, is to focus attention and energy in all eight of these areas, such that all eight goals and the ultimate vision can all be achieved. See chart showing the relationship between all areas of the MTSP.

Copies of the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan (MTSP) may be found at http://tourismplan.anr.msu.edu/. For more information about the 2012-2017 MTSP, please contact MSU faculty member Sarah Nicholls at nicho210@msu.eduMichigan State University Extension also publishes articles and information about events pertaining to Michigan tourism.

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