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« The Great Lakes Shall Rise Again
» News Roundup for Tuesday to Thursday, July 10-12, 2007

Metro Detroit Visitors, Spending Up at Highest Level Since September 11, 2001

A bright spot in Michigan’s struggling economy is the number of visitors to metro Detroit in 2006, which edged up to its highest level since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a report released today by the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB). The study defines metro Detroit as Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

According to the study, conducted for the DMCVB by CIC Research, Inc., metro Detroit’s tourism industry began to rebound in 2006 with 15.9 million visitors and $4.8 billion in visitor spending. This represents a 2.6 percent increase in volume from 2004 (the last year the study was conducted) and an 8.6 percent increase in visitor spending.

Although there was an uptick in the number of visitors and spending, the volume of hotel and motel visitors shrank by about 300,000 from 2004. These trends were driven by decreased corporate travel to the metro Detroit area, largely in the auto industry.

Leisure travelers on vacation or visiting family/friends accounted for 77 percent of all visits to metro Detroit and 70 percent of spending in 2006. Business travelers and convention delegates accounted for 13 percent. Day visitors represented almost 40 percent of visitation to the metro Detroit area but were responsible for only nine percent of total visitor spending. Overnight visitors accounted for 60 percent of all visitors and 49 percent of spending.

More than half of all visitors to the metro area came from the Midwest, including other parts of Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, according to the study. Almost two-thirds arrived in a personal vehicle while 27 percent arrived by air.

Lets not forget that tourism is an important piece of the Detroit economy. The September 11 attacks put a dent in tourism to America from abroad due to things like increased security at the border. So not only is Detroit hurt by less visitors coming from Canada, Windsor is hurt by less people going there like young people from Michigan and Ohio who would otherwise spontaneously decide to go out for a night in downtown Windsor. Once passports are required to go between the United States and Canada this will get worse.

But at least the number of visitors to Detroit is increasing and hopefully this increase is self-sustaining with new visitors telling their friends to come and visit to see the new casinos, the revitalized downtown, the new RiverWalk, unique suburbs like Royal Oak and Birmingham, Hamtramck and Ferndale, and stay a few nights in renovated historic hotels like the Book-Cadillac.
[via SYS-CON Media]

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« The Great Lakes Shall Rise Again
» News Roundup for Tuesday to Thursday, July 10-12, 2007