Numbers tell the story when it comes to the impact of tourism in Greater Lansing. And tourism watchers with the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau
say those numbers will continue to grow as more organizations and individuals pick Lansing as their destination for events, attractions, or just plain R&R.
"Associations and sports are our bread and butter," says Tracy Padot of the organizations and travelers who chose Lansing for conventions, meetings and events. "But we're looking to attract more leisurely visitors to the community—including Chinese travelers."
Chinese and other international visitors, Padot points out, can be a unique source of tourism given that nearly 8,000 international students attend Michigan State University—with more than 6,000 being Chinese.
In early 2015, the GLCVB released a three-minute video
that encourages Chinese viewers to consider visiting Greater Lansing. Produced through a partnership with Brand USA, the video features an on-camera host speaking in Chinese and sharing Greater Lansing visitor information in his own cultural style. Shots were taken across the region including the Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing City Market, the Lansing River Trail, the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, and other landmarks.
The videos are pat of an initiative by Brand USA to encourage international travel to the U.S., and were produced in cooperation with Travel Michigan.
The piece is also being used for international market promotion in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and China.
Other recent information campaigns by the GLCVM included "Tourism Counts," revealing the 4.7 million annual visitors to the region, creating a $472 million economic impact, and supporting 6,400 local jobs.
"We have a lot of great conventions, meetings and sports tournaments coming to town this year, with some being new," says Padot. "It's should be a great year of events."
The GLCVM employs 25 full- and part-time staff, with two part-time positions going to full-time in the past year.
Sources: Tracy Padot, VP, Marketing Communications, Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
Got a story idea for Innovation News? Email Ann Kammerer here.