David West Named Vice President of Travel Michigan

Release Date: 
Monday, October 13, 2014
Michelle Grinnell

LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today David West has been named Vice President of Travel Michigan. West, a Michigan native, will be responsible for heading up the state’s tourism branding, advertising and public relations efforts and overseeing the award-winning Pure Michigan tourism campaign.

“Michigan has something for everyone – from vibrant cities to spectacular outdoor opportunities. Our Pure Michigan travel campaign is the envy of travel campaigns worldwide, and has helped to drive record leisure travel spending in Michigan, expanding the industry’s economic impact throughout the state,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “David’s experience and enthusiasm will keep this momentum moving forward and help us to further expand the growth of tourism here in Michigan.”

West is a nationally recognized leader in the tourism industry, and in 2011 was named one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). He has also received two Destiny Awards from the US Travel Association and numerous Adrian Awards through HSMAI for social media and marketing campaigns he has led.

West, who grew up in East Lansing and attended both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, is returning to Michigan with a strong background in research and destination marketing.

“David’s understanding of the economic impact of tourism, combined with his passion for cutting-edge marketing will be a tremendous asset as we continued to build Michigan’s national and international travel profile,” said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the MEDC.

Currently serving as Vice President of Marketing for the Pocono Mountains Visitor Bureau, West’s duties as Vice President of Travel Michigan will take effect December 1, 2014. The Pocono Mountains are a favorite destination for outdoor adventure and resorts for tourists, located 1.5 hours from New York City and Philadelphia. West now will be responsible for managing the tourism branding and marketing program for Pure Michigan, working with the state tourism industry on state-led initiatives and building business relationships and helping to execute MEDC’s overall strategic plan to grow jobs and the economy in Michigan.

“I am thrilled to be coming home and having the opportunity to be a part of a team growing the Pure Michigan brand,” West said. “While it’s been a successful campaign to date, there is more we can do to bring visitors, including international visitors, to our world-class cities, outdoor areas and attractions.”

In 2013, overall travel spending in Michigan hit $18.7 billion with a record $13.8 billion in leisure travel spending. According to Longwoods International, $1.2 billion in out-of-state visitor spending in 2013 was a direct result of the Pure Michigan campaign.

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org.

David West, New VP
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