Pure Michigan Cancels Fall Advertising Due to Budget Cuts

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Travel Michigan announced today that the 2010 Pure Michigan fall advertising campaign has been cancelled.

The Pure Michigan promotion budget for 2010 is $17 million, down 37 percent from $28 million in 2009. To maintain a second year of national cable television advertising for spring and summer, regional advertising was dramatically reduced. This includes all fall advertising in markets like Chicago.

State officials couldn’t find money to continue the campaign despite the fact that a study showed a state tax return of $2.23 for each dollar spent on tourism advertising.

This is the first time since 2005 that Michigan tourism will not have a presence with fall advertising. Travel Michigan spent $1.7 million on fall advertising in 2009.

“Cancelling the fall campaign was not something we wanted to do, but there was no other choice,” said George Zimmerman, vice president of Travel Michigan, the state’s official travel promotion agency and a unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “It is a major blow to Michigan’s tourism-related businesses and will result in the loss of revenue at tourism businesses as well as reduced state tax collections. We had difficult decisions to make because the reduced budget. On the advice of our advertising agency, McCann Erickson, we decided maintaining the momentum of the national campaign was the top priority for 2010.”

Travel Michigan’s 2009 Pure Michigan advertising campaign delivered a significant return on investment, according to a study conducted by Longwoods International, a research firm specializing in tourism advertising return on investment.

According to the study, the first-ever national Pure Michigan advertising campaign motivated 680,000 new trips to Michigan from outside the Great Lakes region. Those visitors spent $250 million at Michigan businesses last summer as a direct result of the Travel Michigan advertising program. In addition, these new out-of-state visitors paid $17.5 million in state taxes while in Michigan, yielding a $2.23 return on investment for each dollar spent on tourism advertising.

In addition, the study also determined the effectiveness of the campaign on the regional level. Longwoods International assessed the impact of the 2009 Pure Michigan summer advertising on the residents of the Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Ontario, Canada markets. The regional campaign attracted 1.3 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan last summer, visitors who spent $338 million at Michigan businesses. The Pure Michigan campaign was able to improve its regional return on investment from $2.86 since 2004 to $5.34 in 2009.

Michigan’s tourism industry is a vital component of the economy. Visitors to the state spend $15.1 billion annually traveling in Michigan, generating $850 million in state taxes and supporting 142,500 jbs for Michigan residents.

More at www.michigan.org.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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