LANSING (WWJ) — The U.S. Travel Association and the National Council of State Tourism Directors recognized the Pure Michigan campaign with two Mercury Awards Tuesday night. Michigan took home honors for best tourism television and radio advertising campaign.

“We are expanding the reach of Pure Michigan to new travelers here in the United States and beyond, and it is an honor to have the campaign continue to be recognized in this way by our peers,” said George Zimmermann, vice president of Travel Michigan, which runs the campaign as part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “In 2012, visitors spent more on leisure travel in Michigan than in any year in our state’s history.”

An extensive national survey of U.S. travel volumes and spending, conducted by the McLean, Va.-based travel and tourism research firm D.K. Shifflet & Associates, showed visitor spending in Michigan in 2012 reached $18 billion, up from $17.7 billion in 2011.

The survey also found $13.3 billion was spent on travel for leisure — the highest level in Michigan ever.

The year also closed with a record year to date hotel occupancy rate of 56.8 percent, according to the Henderson, Tenn.-based hotel industry research firm Smith Travel Research.

Last year, Pure Michigan’s advertising campaign brought a record 3.8 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan, according to a study by the Toronto-based travel research firm Longwoods International. These visitors spent $1.1 billion at Michigan businesses, generating $79 million in state tax revenue.

Since its launch in 2006, the Pure Michigan campaign has been recognized with a total of 17 Mercury Awards, including Best State Tourism Radio Advertising (in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), Best State Tourism Television Advertising (in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013), Best State Tourism Welcome Center Program (2010), Best State Tourism Co-op (Partnership) program (in 2010 and 2012), Best State Tourism Niche Marketing (2009), Best State Tourism Campaign (2007), “Who is the Real Mitten State” initiative (2012), and Top Social Media Presence (2012).

The Mercury awards are given to state tourism offices by NCSTD, recognizing members for excellence and creative accomplishment at the state level in tourism marketing and promotion, and inspiring the continued development of exciting destination marketing and promotion programs.

The Pure Michigan brand was created by the Birmingham office of McCann Erickson.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit


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