Passions – New focus for tourism in Michigan

Have you seen and heard those amazing Pure Michigan commercials that have moved Michigan’s tourism into the national spotlight?

Data presented at the 2017 Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism showed that economic development images of Michigan increased positively, and often substantially, as a result of seeing these commercials.

Strengthening the Pure Michigan brand, Travel Michigan has added a new focus to their campaign –“Passions.” Michigan has an abundance of opportunities available for people to pursue their “passions” and Travel Michigan wants to make it easy for visitors to find them. Eight areas have been identified by Travel Michigan as the state’s top activities: Snow day, golf, lake effect, urban DNA, scenic route, trails, hunting and fishing.

Michigan tourism entities can take advantage of the Pure Michigan brand and Travel Michigan’s marketing efforts, including the new “passions” program. Travel Michigan’s advertising partnership program has extended the marketing reach of the state’s tourism industry and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) by leveraging marketing dollars to promote Michigan through the following:

  • The Pure Michigan National Cable Partnership Program offers convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) or destination marketing organizations (DMOs) the opportunity to incorporate a Pure Michigan brand campaign into their marketing efforts and increase awareness of their destination through a co-branded national TV ad. In 2017, the national partnership requires a minimum investment of $500,000 by the CVB or DMO, which is then matched by Travel Michigan for a total partnership media budget of $1M.
  • For tourism areas with more limited budgets, the Regional Marketing Partnership Program requires a $25,000 minimum commitment, which again is then matched by Travel Michigan for a $50,000 total. Markets for regional TV and radio ads include Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Southern Ontario, as well as instate cities such as Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing.
  • Finally, the Pure Michigan Social Media Partnership Program allows selected partners to share tourism-related updates via paid advertising as a Promoted Post on Pure Michigan’s Facebook page. Travel Michigan has one of the largest Facebook audiences of all state DMOs across the nation; the fee of $500 per Promoted Post (matched on a 1:1 basis) offers an affordable means via which to reach a substantial number of in- and out-of-state residents.

Michigan State University Extension works with local communities throughout the state to identify strengths and assets to leverage for tourism. Specific programs, such as “Understanding Tourism for Michigan Communities,” are available for communities to host in partnership with MSU Extension’s tourism faculty.

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