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Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:42

MSU forecasts tourism growth for 2013

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MSU forecasts tourism growth for 2013 Photo: Mark Sanchez

Michigan State University researchers see 2013 shaping up as another strong year for Michigan’s tourism industry.

An annual outlook from MSU projects tourism spending to grow 5.5 percent in 2013 and travel volume to increase 3 percent. This year’s growth will come after a 2012 travel season where travel spending grew by 6 percent and hotels in the state recorded their highest occupancy rate since 2000.

MSU attributes the strong 2012 tourism season to good weather last summer and fall, improvements in consumer confidence, gas prices that held relatively steady, and the success of the Pure Michigan tourism promotion.

“This year we’re waiting to see how the economy will fare when the effects of the sequester budget cuts set in, but barring a disruption to the economic recovery, we’re expecting another great year for Michigan tourism,” said Dan McCole, an assistant professor in MSU’s Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies.

Industry trends working into Michigan’s favor include the growing interest of travelers for “food- and beverage-based tourism” such as wineries and craft beer breweries, word-of-mouth social networking as travelers share their experiences, and the increased tendency of tourists to spend their stay in several places rather than stay in one location for their whole trip.

Read 4073 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:46

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