Tourism Industry, Pure Michigan Campaign Helping to Drive State’s Economy

Release Date

Nate Pilon

LANSING – Visitor spending in Michigan hit $22.8 billion last year, and the state’s Pure Michigan tourism campaign generated $6.87 for each dollar spent on Pure Michigan advertising in 2014, according to two reports released today at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids. 

“Michigan’s tourism industry is a strong pillar in our state’s economic foundation,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “Through the Pure Michigan campaign, we have been able to work with our industry partners to showcase all our state has to offer to a national and global audience, fuel new growth, and create new jobs.”

New data showed visitor spending in the state reached record levels in 2014. According to Tourism Economics, Michigan hosted 113.4 million visitors who spent $22.8 billion in the state. Domestic and overseas travelers spent $21.3 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.

The report showed visitor spending directly supports more than 214,000 Michigan jobs. Without tourism jobs, the state’s 2014 unemployment rate of 7.3 percent would have been 13.3 percent.

Last year Michigan spent $12.4 million in out-of-state advertising. More than 4.1 million trips were made to the state by out-of-state visitors influenced by the Pure Michigan campaign, according to a 2014 report by Longwoods International.

In return, visitor spending motivated by the Pure Michigan campaign generated $1.2 billion for Michigan businesses and generated $85.4 million in tax revenue received by the state, resulting in a return on investment of $6.87—up from $6.66 in 2013. The cumulative return on investment since the Pure Michigan campaign began in 2006 is now $4.81, up from $4.50. Pure Michigan’s 2015 national advertising campaign launched March 16. This year’s national advertising campaign will air more than 5,000 times through early June on ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show, and national cable channels.

The total budget for this year’s national advertising campaign is $12 million, including $2 million contributed by four national partners – Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Great Lakes Bay Region and Traverse City.

National partner spots will be added to the rotation beginning the week of April 6. Each of the four national partners contributed $500,000 as part of the Travel Michigan Partnership Advertising Program.

“Investments in Pure Michigan continue to drive new visitors and new spending to the state,” said David West, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Our tourism industry and Pure Michigan brand are stronger than ever, and we look forward to even bigger things in the years to come.”

The full reports are available at

Longwoods International is a research firm specializing in tourism advertising return on investment.

Tourism Economics, headquartered in Philadelphia, is an Oxford Economics company dedicated to providing high value, robust, and relevant analyses of the tourism sector that reflects the dynamics of local and global economies.

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 For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit

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