Learn about your community's existing strengths and weaknesses as seen through the eyes of the first-time visitor.

How It Works Apply

Michigan tourism generated $38 billion in economic activity and nearly $2.4 billion in tax revenue in 2014. As such, tourism is one of Michigan’s significant industries and is vital to the survival and revitalization of many rural and urban communities across the Great Lakes state.

Are you wondering how your community rates among Michigan tourists? Are you interested in expanding and enhancing the tourism industry within your community? With First Impressions, now you can.

First Impressions (FIT)  is a comprehensive community assessment conducted by unannounced visitors in a host community positioned to lead development based on the program results. FIT involves developing community leadership, assessing the host community, sharing the results in a community forum open to all, and providing suggestions to drive community action. Overall, FIT helps communities learn about their strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of first-time visitors.

Download the First Impressions brochure here.

The results of FIT can:

  • Spawn local leadership.

  • Strengthen community vitality.

  • Form the basis for future development


For questions about the First Impressions program, please contact MSU Extension tourism leader Andy Northrop, 810-989-6331.

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