March 22, 2022 | Story by: Steve Horton | Photos by: Steve Horton
This article appears in full from Fowlerville News & Views. Read the full article here.
The annual partner meeting of the Livingston Convention & Visitors Bureau was held last Tuesday, March 1, at Crystal Gardens in Howell. An overview of the importance of tourism to the local economy was given by Mary Robinson, the executive director, along with highlights of the local Bureau’s efforts over the past year.
Guest speakers were Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan who is involved in the Pure Michigan marketing effort, and Kim Corcoran, president of Destination Michigan which connects communities, hotels, and service providers with meeting planners.
At the conclusion of the session, several special awards were given out to individuals and area businesses in recognition of their work at enhancing Livingston County for residents and visitors.
Lorenz was cautiously optimistic that the number of in-state and out-of-state tourist numbers would rebound after two years of COVID-19 public-health restrictions, but added that a resurgence of the virus, high prices for gas and other commodities, and how the Russian invasion of Ukraine evolves could serve to dampen that prediction.
He said that people are eager to travel and go on vacations.
He also gave an overview of the Pure Michigan campaign, including what it’s done in the past and the upcoming strategy to emphasize urban attractions, along with the natural beauty offered by outdoor scenery and activities.
Lorenz noted that the Pure Michigan campaign has a $30 million budget and will use traditional media and promotional outlets to market the state and its various offerings, but will also utilize the newer social media platforms.
Corcoran also felt that the number of visitors coming to Michigan or traveling in-state would increase, including those attending conventions and special meetings. She told the audience that people—after all of the Zoom meetings, working at home, or cancellations—found out how much they missed face-to-face gatherings when doing business.
She noted that current bookings showed more of a demand for meetings of 100 or fewer attendees, predicting that by 2024 numbers would return to what they were prior to the pandemic.