Gov. Rick Snyder is in China leading a delegation from Michigan, and part of what he’s doing is encouraging potential tourists to come visit the Great Lakes state. As part of that, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has launched a Travel Michigan website in Chinese: TravelMichigan.cn.
The Governor is talking about things to do in a lot of places: visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts or taking in Grand Rapids’ Art Prize. More generally, he’s talking up the state’s natural beauty as well.
“One is just talking about the natural beauty and the opportunities there. The Great Lakes is a huge selling point because of the wonderful shoreline we have, so I talk about Sleeping Bear Dunes and Mackinac Island as two great opportunities,” Snyder said.
He also likes to mention cultural events, like Holland’s Tulip Festival.
“They got a big kick out of when I told them in my time as governor I’d walked over five miles in wooden shoes,” Snyder said.
Dave Lorenz, the manager of Travel Michigan, is in China with the Governor. He said Michigan is a good place for people traveling in groups, and also offers something more unique than the big city destinations.
“There comes a time with any international traveler that comes to the US that they want to see something other than just the big hitters … there comes a time when they want to see what I would describe as real America, and that’s what we have to offer,” Lorenz said.
Snyder praised Lorenz’s work in China, and said too that Michigan could attract tourists who are visiting the United States a few times.
“A lot of times what we’re working on is getting them for their second or third trip,” Snyder said.
Lorenz said under a deal put together by the Detroit Metro Airport and Detroit Metro Convention Visitors Bureau, international passengers will soon answer questions both when entering and exiting the Detroit airport. When they’re leaving, questions will include what they did, where they went and how much money they spent.
“It’s actually done in other airports, bigger airports,” Lorenz said.
But doing that in Detroit will help the department determine if their travel efforts are working.
In addition to unveiling a website, the MEDC has compiled promotional videos and materials in languages including Chinese.
Snyder said that while it’s already possible to measure the success of trade missions when it comes to business investment, “The tourism one takes longer to develop and I think we will be seeing that.”
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Article: M Live