2019 National Travel and Tourism Week activates support for Michigan travel and tourism industry

Friday, May 10, 2019

Community and government leaders gather to endorse economic benefits of tourism to state

LANSING, Mich. – The Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan (TICOM) and Travel Michigan celebrated Michigan’s travel and tourism impact and the many ways travel contributes to state and local economies. The event was held today in Lansing at the Michigan History Center.

The event was part of the 36th annual National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), which unites communities across the country to celebrate the countless ways travel enhances economic growth, American jobs and personal well-being.

The theme of this year’s NTTW, “Travel Matters,” highlights how travel constructs the fabric of Michigan’s culture and economy. Each day of this week celebrates a different facet of travel: the economy, new experiences, jobs, infrastructure, health benefits, hometown pride and how travel strengthens families.

“Today, we are celebrating travel’s powerful impact on our community. We are calling on everyone, from elected officials to all of our local friends and neighbors, to join us in saluting this important industry, and to support pro-travel legislation at the local, state and national level,” said Tourism Industry Coalition President Julie Pingston.

In addition to its benefits for the local economy, travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being for residents and visitors of Michigan. Numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression. Using time off to travel with family is important for all, particularly children, as kids who travel with their families are more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.

Tourism spending directly supported 224,476 jobs in Michigan in 2017. Michigan welcomed 122.4 million visitors in 2017 and visitor spending rose 4 percent to $24.7 billion. This generated $2.7 billion in state and local taxes, according to Travel Michigan.

“Tourism has a huge impact on Michigan residents. In addition to producing more than 300,000 jobs, it connects us with people from around the world,” said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “First-time travelers who visit Michigan from other states and countries are always amazed by Michigan’s many attributes, including our incredible natural spaces, authentic destinations and unique experiences. This week we are celebrating what travel means to our residents in terms of jobs, economic growth and sense of pride for our state.”

Speakers at today’s event included:

  • Julie Pingston: TICOM President
  • Tom Daldin: PBS’s Under the Radar
  • Jim Edelman: PBS’s Under the Radar
  • David Lorenz: Vice President of Travel Michigan
  • Maia Turek: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

“Travel Matters to the economy, job creation and vitality of our state,” Pingston said. “It also matters to creating new experiences, opportunities and lifelong memories. In fact, 72 percent of Americans would rather spend money on experiences than things.”


  • Travel is a $2.5 trillion industry in the U.S.
  • Visitors support 15.7 million American jobs, roughly 8.9 million direct travel jobs, and 6.8 million indirect jobs.
  • Travel-related spending generated $171 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue in 2018.

The tourism industry allows Michigan visitors to see first-hand the myriad of opportunities the state has to offer. From its provision of relaxation destinations and natural areas for exploration to its all-encompassing business site locations, the travel and tourism industry is continually validating the message that Michigan is the perfect place to work, live and play.

To learn more about the economic impact of tourism to Michigan, visit: https://medc.app.box.com/s/7vak2c1hj4u2fbotzejssofwkvl9tfjx

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.