2011 Results, 5-Year Strategic Plan Part of 2012 Tourism Conference

LANSING — More than 600 tourism representatives, economic development professionals and meeting planners from across Michigan will come together in Grand Rapids March 25-27 for the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism 2012.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Delivering on the Pure Michigan Promise.”

The conference will feature keynote presentations by Gov. Rick Snyder; Peter Greenberg, a national travel expert and the travel editor at CBS News; and Joel Secundy, vice president of strategic outreach for Brand USA, the new international tourism promotion agency for the United States.

“We are expecting this to be the biggest and best tourism industry conference in Michigan’s history,” said Steve Yencich, president and CEO of the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association. “Tourism leaders from across the state will meet to collaborate and discuss ways we can enhance customer experience, increase tourism outcomes and create more jobs for Michigan residents.”

The release of the 2011 Michigan tourism results and a tourism business forecast for 2012, presented by Michigan State University, will be a key component of the conference. The outcome of the Longwoods International 2011 Pure Michigan advertising return-on-investment and Michigan image study will also be shared during the conference.

New to this year’s lineup is a session dedicated to the industry’s strategic future for the next five years. This visioning session will lay the foundation for the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan. Development of a new strategic plan is being led by the Michigan Travel Commission and facilitated by Michigan State University.

“With so many people active in the state’s tourism industry all in one place, this is the perfect opportunity to come together and develop an industry-wide strategy for how we grow the tourism industry and Michigan’s economy over the next five years,” said George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

For the first time there will also be a special track designed for local and regional economic developers, city and county officials, or anyone involved in incorporating tourism as a tool for broader economic development. The Michigan Travel Commission will also be meeting on March 25.

For a full schedule of events visit www.milodging.org/conference.

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