Travel Michigan announced Tuesday that the Pure Michigan winter advertising campaign scheduled to begin airing in January will be canceled Friday, Dec. 3 unless new funding is provided by that date.

The Pure Michigan promotion budget for the 2011 fiscal year has been reduced to $5.4 million from $17 million in 2010 and $28 million in 2009. Full funding of the Pure Michigan campaign is $30 million per year, which will provide for both national and regional advertising campaigns for the spring/summer tourism season and regional campaigns for both the fall and winter tourism seasons.

“We hope to be advertising Michigan’s wealth of winter activities to potential visitors from Chicago and other key out-of-state markets in Ohio and Indiana, but can only do so if we have our funding resolved by Dec. 3,” said George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, a business unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “The cancellation of winter Pure Michigan advertising will mean fewer visitors to Michigan this winter, less revenue for Michigan businesses and a loss of tax revenue for the state of Michigan.”

Advertising for spring and summer 2011 is also at risk, Zimmermann said.

“National Pure Michigan advertising for spring and summer, our biggest tourism season, is scheduled to begin airing in March and must be purchased in January,” Zimmermann said. “We cannot move forward with our spring-summer advertising buy unless the legislature provides funding before they adjourn in December. The time for action is now.”

Since its launch in 2006, the Pure Michigan campaign has won numerous awards, including being listed by Forbes in 2009 as one of the 10 best tourism promotion campaigns ever created worldwide. Pure Michigan was recognized in 2007 by the U.S. Travel Association as the Best State Tourism Advertising Campaign. In August 2010, USA Today did a front-page feature story on state tourism branding and advertising which showcased Pure Michigan as the primary success story.

More importantly, according to independent research, Pure Michigan has produced results for Michigan businesses and the state of Michigan. According to a four-year study of Pure Michigan out-of-state summer advertising from 2006 to 2009, that advertising brought 5 million new out-of-state visitors to Michigan during that four year period, visitors who spent $1.3 billion at Michigan businesses and paid $93 million in Michigan taxes, primarily Michigan sales tax. In fact, for each dollar Michigan spent on this Pure Michigan advertising, the state got back $2.94 in new, incremental taxes paid by these out-of-state visitors.

Michigan tourism organizations and businesses contributed $1.4 million to the Pure Michigan campaign in 2010 through a Travel Michigan cooperative advertising program, and they stand ready to up that to $2 million in 2011 if the Pure Michigan campaign is fully funded at $30 million for 2011. However, without legislative action in 2010 on the Pure Michigan promotion budget, there will be no funding available for a Pure Michigan cooperative advertising program in 2011.

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 jobs for Michigan residents.

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

  1. Ian says:

    I would much rather see a request for $1 on my tax return to fund this than to fund any political nonsense. I’d even pay $5. IT IS TOO IMPORTANT NOT TO!!!!

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