Understanding Tourism for Michigan Communities

Tourism is one of Michigan's main economic engines, with its abundance of agricultural, cultural, historical, and nature-based wonders that attract people from all over the world. The Understanding Tourism for Michigan Communities (UTMC) program engages communities, organizations, and resident/stakeholders collectively by exploring local and regional assets that, if leveraged strategically, can strengthen small town tourism destinations and economies.

As part of the UTMC program, MSU Extension tourism educators explore specific niche tourism markets with participants, such as -

  • Agricultural tourism
  • Cultural tourism
  • Nature-based tourism

Exploration into these unique areas of tourism allows participating stakeholders to generate and categorize a plethora of existing assets that can serve as a launching point to create and support a sustainable tourism industry. Additionally, UTMC highlights growing trends with tourist behavior and preferences, and offers a great opportunity for a wide-range of stakeholders to organize themselves in order to launch and strengthen small town tourism.

Yes, you and your workshop were the catalyst for all of what Destination Downriver is today. I don't thank you enough!  - Director, Brownstown Downtown Development Authority

Andy Northrop M.A.

Andy Northrop M.A.

Statewide Government and Community Vitality, Sustainable Tourism Educator
Michigan State University Extension