Pure Michigan cancels fall campaign due to budget cuts


After a rocky on- and off-again approval process for the overall campaign, Travel Michigan announced the 2010 Pure Michigan fall campaign has been cancelled. The promotional  budget for 2010 is $17 million, down 37% from $28 million in 2009. To maintain a second year of national cable advertising for spring/summer, regional advertising was dramatically reduced. This includes all fall advertising in markets like Chicago. This is the first time since 2005 that Michigan tourism will not have a presence with fall advertising. Travel Michigan spent $1.7 million on fall advertising in 2009.

“Cancelling the fall campaign was not something we wanted to do, but there was no other choice. It is a major blow to Michigan’s tourism-related businesses and will result in the loss of revenue at tourism businesses as well as reduced state tax collections,” stated George Zimmermann, VP of Travel Michigan, a business unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We had difficult decisions to make because the reduced budget. On the advice of our advertising agency, McCann Erickson, we decided maintaining the momentum of the national campaign was the top priority for 2010,” Zimmermann added.

Travel Michigan’s 2009 Pure Michigan ad campaign delivered a significant ROI, according to a study conducted by Longwoods International, a research firm specializing in tourism advertising. According to the study, the first-ever national Pure Michigan campaign motivated 680,000 new trips to the state from outside the Great Lakes region. Those visitors spent $250 million at Michigan businesses last summer as a direct result of the Travel Michigan campaign. In addition, these new out-of-state visitors paid $17.5 million in state taxes while in Michigan, yielding a $2.23 return on investment for the tourism advertising.

In addition, the study also determined the effectiveness of the campaign on the regional level. Longwoods International assessed the impact of the 2009 Pure Michigan summer advertising on the residents of the Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Ontario, Canada markets. The regional campaign attracted 1.3 million out-of-state visitors to Michigan last summer, visitors who spent $338 million at Michigan businesses. The Pure Michigan campaign was able to improve its regional ROI from $2.86 since 2004 to $5.34 in 2009.

Michigan’s tourism industry is a vital component of the economy. Visitors to the state spend $15.1 billion annually traveling in Michigan, generating $850 million in state taxes and supporting 142,500 jobs for Michigan residents.