LANSING — The Michigan Travel Commission last week adopted the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan at a meeting at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth. 

The strategic plan lays the foundation for tourism in Michigan to continue to grow and contribute to the overall economic development of the state.

Said Patricia E. Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford and chairman of the Michigan Travel Commission: “Tourism is Michigan’s third largest industry and it’s critical to the health of our state’s economy. This plan identifies both short-term and long-term goals and key objectives important to the industry’s continued growth and vitality.”

The contents of the strategic plan were generated based on input from hundreds of members in Michigan’s tourism industry, from multiple industry sectors and all areas of the state. Development took place throughout 2012 and included an evaluation of the 2007-2011 Strategic Plan, an assessment of current conditions in the tourism industry, and the development of a vision, goals, objectives and strategies that make up the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan.

According to Sarah Nicholls, associate professor of tourism at Michigan State University, who led the planning process and wrote the final plan document, “The 2012-17 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan represents the hard work and creative ideas of hundreds of industry members from around the state.”

She said Michigan is one of the few states that has engaged in an industry-wide strategic planning process — one that extends beyond marketing to identify the other critical issues within the industry.

“In combination with the continuing success of the Pure Michigan campaign, the plan really does provide the groundwork necessary to help the industry continue to grow and prosper.” she said. “Tourism is a critical component of the state’s economy, and this plan will further increase its long-term viability and success.”

The plan creates a framework for a shared vision within the industry and provides an agenda and strategies for cooperation and partnership to provide maximum impact. The strategic plan will be driven by the following vision statement: Michigan is one of America’s favorite four seasons travel experiences.

This vision statement received overwhelming support in a poll open to the tourism industry.  Specific goals within the strategic plan to carry out that vision include:
* Fostering a culture of public-private collaboration, cooperation and partnerships.
* Securing adequate and stable funding for all strategic plan initiatives.
* Enhancing infrastructure to support the delivery of a world-class Pure Michigan experience.
* Strengthening the Pure Michigan brand to attract first-time and repeat visitors.
* Empowering the industry to encourage policy-makers to support the travel industry.
* Establishing a central, easily accessible and inclusive information system to capture and share timely, relevant and reliable industry research.
* Becoming internationally recognized for stewardship of, and opportunities to experience Michigan’s natural, cultural and heritage resources.
* Fostering a culture of service excellence that allows the Pure Michigan promise to be delivered.

“This strategic plan builds on efforts already underway across Michigan and provides a strong foundation for the continued growth of our tourism industry,” said George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “We appreciate the hard work so many people — from MSU, the Travel Commission, the Advisory Council and all the industry folks who participated — to help create a plan that is truly a statewide effort.”


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