Poll Finds Strong Public Support for Pure Michigan Funding

Oct 22, 2009, 11:31 ET from Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association

But Ads Will Go Dark Unless Legislature Acts

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- By a huge margin, Michigan residents believe the Pure Michigan campaign and its outreach to attract visitors from across the country is an effective way to diversify the state's troubled economy. In a recent statewide survey conducted by EPIC-MRA, 65% of those surveyed believed that Pure Michigan is an effective way to help improve Michigan's economy. The poll was commissioned by members of the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association, (MLTA).

"Michigan residents love and recognize the effectiveness of those Pure Michigan ads as much as new tourists do," said MLTA's President Steve Yencich. "Clearly, providing permanent funding to maintain the first-ever nationwide and year-round Pure Michigan campaign is the key to improve Michigan's economy."

This year the Legislature and Governor provided enough funding to allow Pure Michigan to promote the winter sports season for the first time in fifteen years. New ads promoting metropolitan destinations were also developed. Importantly, the funding package also allowed Pure Michigan television ads to air in all 50 states for the first time ever.

Tourism is Michigan's third largest industry employing more than 200,000 people and generating $16 billion in annual revenues. Research has found that every $1 the state invests in tourism promotions in other states generates $2.86 in new sales tax revenues for Michigan, making the Pure Michigan campaign one of the few state-funded programs that returns an almost immediate profit to the state.

Unless the Legislature approves a permanent source of funding for the ads prior to October 31, the winter promotion campaign will end. Further inaction could cause the award-winning national Pure Michigan campaign to go dark as well. However, legislation is pending which would match this year's level of funding, allowing the year-round and nationwide campaign to move forward into 2010.

"We saw real increases in the number of first-time visitors from other states as a result of Pure Michigan," Yencich said. "Nearly all of our lodging property members say that guests routinely mention they have seen the ads and how great they are. The key is to provide stable funding for Pure Michigan allowing the growth and contributions tourism makes to Michigan's economy to become permanent."

Based in Lansing, the Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association, (MLTA) is a 104-year-old trade association that educates, markets, and advocates on behalf of Michigan's lodging and tourism industries.

SOURCE Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association