2013 was a great year for Mason County tourism

January 21, 2014

pure_ludingtonLUDINGTON — Michigan tourism has been rising steadily since the 2009 launch of the Pure Michigan campaign. Last year, 3.8 million out-of-state visitors travelled to Michigan and spent a record breaking $1.1 billion at Michigan businesses. The Ludington Area is seeing these trends on a local level as well.

The Pure Ludington campaign, now in its third year, is taking advantage of the exposure Michigan is getting and making sure Ludington is on travelers’ itineraries.

“We are proud of the brand we have created and are continuing to expand the brand to attract visitors to Mason County year-round” said Brandy Henderson, executive director of the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau saw an increase in visitor stays by 6% in 2013 as compared to 2012. Most of the increase was found in the fall months of September and October.

“After a cold, wet start to the summer season in May  and June, our lodging members had a very strong summer, which continued through the fall season as well” said Henderson.  “We have been focused on exposing people to the travel possibilities that we have in Mason County beyond summer, which has been helpful in building those shoulder season travel opportunities for the area.”

A dozen lodging properties in Mason County participate in a unique offer for travelers; 50% off a second night stay on the weekdays during the months of September and October.

“2013 has been a banner year for tourism in Mason County and 2014 is looking just as bright” said Henderson. “We accomplished a lot in the last year and are ready to hit the ground running in preparation for the busy year ahead.”

 

CVB highlights for 2013:

1.       6% increase generated in county assessment dollars from Mason County lodging properties. Most of the increase came from a successful fall season for the area.

2.       Expanded Pure Michigan partnership to include out-of-state markets like: South Bend, Toledo and Green Bay

3.       Lonely Planet named Grand Rapids and West Coast of Michigan its No. 1 Destination to Visit in 2014

4.       Served over 6,000 visitors at its Downtown Visitors Center, which is operated by more than two-dozen volunteers.

5.       Upgraded its website PureLudington.com to better reflect the beauty and surroundings visitors can expect in Ludington. There was an increase of 39% of visitors to the site as compared to 2012.

6.       Ludington State Park was ranked the No. 2 State Park in the United States by TripleBlaze.

7.       Successfully resurrected Harbor Festival, which encompassed the 75th Annual Queen’s Cup Sailboat Race, LudRock and Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival Fourth of July activities.

8.       Developed the Pure Ludington mobile app, which is now available for iPhone and Android devices. The mobile app is designed to enhance the visitor experience and allow visitors to experience Ludington like a local.

9.       Continued partnership with Michigan’s Great Outdoors, which is a six county marketing collaborative partnership. Michigan’s Great Outdoors launched its first multi-faceted marketing campaign that included online, print and outdoor advertising.

10.    Ludington’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and The Mitten Bar were named in Yahoo! Travel’s Top 8 New Year’s Eve Party Bars in the United States to enjoy.

What does this mean for the community?

“It means $10.7 million were generated in overnight room stays in Mason County,” Henderson said. “The economic impact of tourism goes far beyond overnight room stays. True economic impact can be found by looking at number of jobs supported by tourism and spending on dining, attractions, retail, transportation, etc.

“Tourism further enhances the businesses already in our community and also offers exposure to Ludington and Mason County. There is no better way to get the word out about Ludington than by those who have visited and enjoyed our community themselves.  This increased exposure and positive visitor experience can lead to new businesses moving to Ludington, families and couples relocating to the community, etc. which are all benefits of a strong tourism industry in Mason County.”

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