Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association relocates to Okemos, renews focus on education

An association with a statewide presence approaching 110 years will focus on growth and renewal in 2015 after moving to a new location in late 2014.
The Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association picked up 300 square feet plus easy-on, easy-off access to I-96 with the cross-town relocation from Lansing to 2175 Commons Parkway in Okemos. The 18,000-square foot office, says association leadership, also provides space to grow and for coordinating conferences and educational events related to Michigan's lodging and tourism industry.
"We've grown in recent years," says Steve Yencich, president and CEO of the MLTA. "This move serves as an opportunity to expand our operations and to put our best foot forward as we move toward the future."
The upcoming year, Yencich says, will renew MLTA's focus on education, with plans to develop up to eight regional education seminars on leadership skills for all levels of hotel and lodging industry staff. Other core activities include leading advocacy efforts for the Pure Michigan Campaign, and fostering professional development and networking opportunities through the coordination of the Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism. Started in 2006, the conference has grown from an initial 275 attendees to nearly 1,000 in 2014.
Formed in 1905, the MLTA is the only statewide trade association that advocates for Michigan's lodging and tourism industry. The association represents hundreds of hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts across the state, comprising more than 50,000 guest rooms. The MLTA membership includes suppliers and vendors, convention and visitor bureaus, colleges and universities, students, attractions and transportation operators.
Tourism, says Yencich, generates upward to 18 billion dollars in economic activity each year for Michigan, and employs more than 200,000 people statewide.
"That includes high school and college students, and high school and college graduates," says Yencich. "It's a wonderful career opportunity for people of all ages."
The MLTA currently employs three full-time staff, two part-timers, several college interns, and works with dozens of industry professionals for seminars and job- and leadership-based educational training.
Source: Steve Yencich, President and CEO, Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Innovation News Editor
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