“Even though 2011 was 3 percent cooler and 16 percent wetter than 2010.”
From a Michigan State media release:
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tourism spending in Michigan jumped a surprising 8 percent in 2011 and should increase by a healthy 6 percent clip this year, reflecting the ongoing economic recovery, Michigan State University researchers said in their annual tourism report.
Michigan’s $17-billion-a-year tourism market – one of the state’s largest industries – should have a “very strong” 2012, said Dan McCole, assistant professor of tourism.
“As long as the weather is good – and that’s always the big ‘if’ – I think we’re going to see a very strong year for tourism,” McCole said.
McCole and Sarah Nicholls, associate professor of tourism, presented their report today at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids. The report includes both a look back at 2011 and a forecast for this year.
Even though 2011 was 3 percent cooler and 16 percent wetter than 2010, spending on tourism still doubled the projection the MSU researchers made last year. Spending projections are based on state sales tax and use tax collections.
Hotel occupancy in 2011 was up 7 percent statewide and 10 percent in Detroit, marking the second straight year that Detroit saw the biggest gain of any of the 25 major metro markets, Nicholls said.
“Recovery continues to occur at a steady pace,” said Nicholls, who is overseeing the state’s effort to create a five-year strategic plan for tourism… [Emphasis added]