DETROIT — Meeting and convention bookings in metro Detroit are on the rise, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Monday at its Annual Membership Meeting.

Booked business in 2012 totaled close to $200 million in direct spending for the region, which is up from $94 million in 2011, said Larry Alexander, DMCVB President & CEO. Major bookings in 2012 included the National Medical Association, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Service Employees International Union.

READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccines Saved Nearly 20 Million Lives In First Year, Study Says

“Headlines are positive, the economy has improved tremendously, investors, businesses and their employees are putting stakes in Detroit, hotel occupancy is up, and the eyes of the country are on us,” said Alexander. “It is time for our comeback, and it’s our opportunity to market and sell this region to visitors as never before.”

The meeting, themed “Detroit: It’s time for our comeback,” took place at the Max. M. Fisher Music Center. During the meeting Alexander highlighted the DMCVB’s 2013 Marketing Plan. This year the DMCVB will launch a new advertising campaign geared toward the meetings and leisure markets, which will be rolled out late in the second quarter. Along with that campaign two new Pure Michigan TV spots will air this summer, one focusing on downtown attractions, nightlife and entertainment, and another focusing solely on the suburbs. The bureau’s Canadian Holiday Shopping Campaign in the suburbs will expand in 2013 as well.   This year the DMCVB sales team will continue its successful efforts of 2012, such as pursuing medical meetings, hosting sales missions to attract customers in Chicago and Washington, D.C. and attending industry trade shows.

The Detroit Sports Commission, a subsidiary of the DMCVB, will focus on U.S. Olympic sports organizations, targeting youth and national championship events, as well as an increased focus on collegiate events.

READ MORE: Michigan Ballot Initiative Aims To Protect Abortion Rights

“Our initiatives in 2013 are all designed to convince potential customers that The D’s transformation is real and that we can provide an outstanding convention package and an unforgettable leisure experience,” Alexander said.

To view the complete DMCVB Marketing Plan for 2013 go to

The meeting also featured a panel that spoke about the impact of sports and the economic benefit they have on our region locally and nationally. The panel was moderated by WDIV-TV sports anchor Bernie Smilovitz. Panelists included Detroit Tigers president, CEO and general manager David Dombrowski; Detroit Free Press sports editor Gene Myers; Fox Sports Detroit senior vice president and general manager Greg Hammaren; and Mark S. Rosentraub, Bruce and Joan Bickner Endowed Professor of Sport Management at the  University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology.

MORE NEWS: AG Nessel Says Abortions Are Still Legal In Michigan

More at