MSUToday
Published: March 15, 2012

Professor to oversee creation of Michigan tourism plan

Contact(s): Sarah Nicholls CARRS and Geography nicho210@msu.edu

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s tourism industry is generating a new strategic plan to guide its activities during the next five years, and a faculty member from Michigan State University is leading the effort.

Sarah Nicholls, associate professor in the Departments of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, or CARRS, and Geography, will oversee the preparation of the new planning document, in collaboration with the state’s official tourism promotion agency, Travel Michigan, and the governor-appointed Travel Commission.

“The 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan will chart a course for the development of Michigan’s tourism industry over the coming five years,” Nicholls said. “Upon evaluation of the previous (2007-2011) plan, we will work to develop a vision for the industry and then identify the more specific goals, objectives and strategies needed to move the industry towards its vision state.”

The plan will be developed over the course of 2012 with input from industry members across the state. One upcoming opportunity for participation in the planning process is a visioning session to be held at the 2012 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism, at the Amway Grand in Grand Rapids March 25-27.

“Attendees at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism will have an opportunity to chart the future of Michigan’s travel and tourism industry,” said George Zimmermann, vice president for Travel Michigan at the Michigan Economic Development Corp.  “One of the most significant sessions at the conference will be an industry “visioning” session, when participants will come together and create the vision for the industry’s future, which will become the core of the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan.”

Additional meetings and opportunities for input via online surveys will occur throughout the summer months and in all areas of the state.

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