National recognition spotlights inclusive spirit and innovative marketing efforts of Pure Michigan campaign

Friday, August 25, 2023

Dave Lorenz named State Tourism Director of the Year by U.S. Travel Association



The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is proud to congratulate Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, who was named State Tourism Director of the Year this week by the U.S. Travel Association. This award highlights the ongoing success of the Pure Michigan campaign and the state’s tourism marketing efforts as the MEDC continues to accelerate its efforts to showcase Michigan as a place where people can visit, work, build a life and thrive.

U.S. Travel Association cited community engagement as central to Travel Michigan’s success in promoting the unique culture and offerings of Michigan. Lorenz has also been an advocate for increasing accessibility for visitors and residents alike. Travel Michigan invested in developing a website promoting accessible travel options in the state, and today received Michigan Strategic Fund approval on a new grant to address a critical need for the development of fully accessible local destination marketing organization (DMO) websites to meet the needs of the visually impaired. The goal of the Accessible Traveler Grant Application initiative is to allow Michigan’s DMOs to provide a more accessible experience to all users, increasing tourism and improving the development of Michigan’s economy.

“As we continue to highlight the tremendous opportunity Michigan offers as a destination to live, work and visit for families of all backgrounds, the work to market the state through the Pure Michigan campaign and efforts of the Travel Michigan team has been critical to changing perceptions and welcoming all people to our state,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Dave’s passion for the industry and his love for Michigan have helped to guide Pure Michigan into a nationally recognized brand bringing economic impact across both of our beautiful Michigan peninsulas.”

Read the full announcement from U.S. Travel Association here.

U.S. Travel Association


An outside study found that Travel Michigan advertising influenced nearly 2.1 million leisure trips to the state in 2022, generating $3.1 billion in total spending and more than $195 million in state tax revenue. These marketing activities yielded an 11:1 return on investment—the highest in Travel Michigan’s history.

These efforts introduce the state to people across the nation and help to build momentum around Michigan’s effort to attract and retain talent to the state. A recent report from Development Counsellors International (DCI) found that tourism resources like websites, social media channels and printed guides or brochures continue to be an important source of information for people making relocation decisions.

Pure Michigan continues to serve as a foundation for these broader talent attraction and population growth efforts in Michigan. Governor Gretchen Whitmer named Hilary Doe as the state’s first ever Chief Growth Officer earlier this summer to lead efforts to grow Michigan’s population and also recently announced the bipartisan Growing Michigan Together Council which will work towards a comprehensive strategy to help anyone make it in Michigan.

Earlier this year MEDC also launched its new ‘Pure Opportunity’ business attraction campaign and ‘Keep it Fresh’ Pure Michigan campaign. MEDC is working to build a national talent attraction campaign into its portfolio of efforts to market the state, expected to launch nationally this fall. Spots like ‘I am Detroit Summer’ continue to demonstrate how travel, lifestyle and quality of life all come together in Michigan.


To learn more about the Pure Opportunity Michigan offers, visit Pure Opportunity | Michigan Business.

To find travel opportunities across the state, your trip begins at


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 For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.