Governor Gretchen Whitmer cut the proposed $37.5 million budget from the 2020 state budget.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MEDC, tells Focal Point News, “Governor Whitmer and the MEDC remain committed to the Pure Michigan Campaign and the positive impact it has had on the tourism industry in Michigan.”
They continued to say the cut is a “recognition that the Legislature cannot continue to pass record-high budgets for Pure Michigan while funding for other economic development initiatives is cut to record lows.”
Greg Taucher, an advertising professor at Michigan State, said you can’t just turn off the lights on Pure Michigan.
“I think that if Michigan killed their tourism campaign, they’d be in a deficit position,” he said. “You can’t just go dark.”
The Pure Michigan campaign ranks high in the country for attracting tourists.
“Look at the markets where you’re driving the most traffic for Michigan,” Taucher said. “Find the states and the cities and the places where people are coming in and maintain presence.”
Carey Mitchelson, Director of Operations at College Fields Golf Club, said tourism plays a big role in the Michigan golf industry.
“It’s over four billion dollars a year that’s generated in the golf industry in the state of Michigan,” he said.
And he said this could affect the numbers of rounds played a year at the course.
“When you look at our parking lot and other parking lots at other golf courses, you see license plates from all over,” Mitchelson said.
Tracy Padot, the Vice President of marketing for the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, also thinks business will be affected.
“If you’re not top of mind, if you’re not marketing and putting out your message, those visitors have lots of other options that they are being bombarded with that they might choose instead of Michigan,” Padot said.
MEDC said this isn’t the end of the conversation.
They said the legislature needs to send a bill that appropriately funds Pure Michigan along with other efforts for long-term success.