Governor wants $25M for Michigan tourism campaign

AP News
Posted: Oct 11, 2010 6:06 PM
Governor wants $25M for Michigan tourism campaign

Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Monday she wants to pour $25 million into the Pure Michigan campaign, getting commercials back on the air by the holidays.

The state had to cancel the fall tourism advertising campaign for the first time in five years because of a lack of money. Granholm now says state revenue has picked up, and she wants the tourism campaign to resume.

"This is spending that gets between $2 and $5 for every $1 of tax money we spend back to the state of Michigan coffers," she told reporters. She urged lawmakers to approve the $25 million this month or soon after the Nov. 2 election.

"This is a jobs issue," Granholm said.

The Pure Michigan campaign promotes Michigan's lakes, golf courses, cities and other tourist attractions with television and radio ads, billboards and a website. The award-winning ads are narrated by actor Tim Allen, who grew up in Michigan.

Total funding for the Pure Michigan campaign would reach $30.4 million for the fiscal year that started earlier this month if lawmakers approve the extra money. With that much money, the state could run its regional winter advertising campaign, extend the spring and summer campaign nationally and advertise regionally in fall 2011.

Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, said the museum complex in Dearborn counts on the boost it gets from the Pure Michigan campaign.

"This partnership with Travel Michigan is a program that helps get our message out in areas we otherwise couldn't reach," she said during a news conference with the governor at the state historical museum.

Funding for the Pure Michigan campaign was $28 million in fiscal 2009, when it got a special infusion of one-time cash. The state put $17 million into the campaign in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, but lawmakers had put aside only $5.4 million in the current budget year after being unable to agree on a way to raise more money for Pure Michigan.

Granholm said she hopes lawmakers' heed the tourism industry's call to increase spending now that rising income tax revenue has put about $100 million more than expected into the state's general fund.

Visitors spend $15.1 billion annually traveling in Michigan, generating $850 million in state taxes and supporting 142,500 jobs, according to state officials. Being able to run the Pure Michigan campaign nationally in 2009 generated 680,000 new trips to the state from outside the Great Lakes region, according to a study conducted by the Longwoods International research firm.