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Balance is the Goal for Michigan Travel this Summer

The U.P. showed strong growth in vacation activity last year, and it looks like that will be the case in 2022.

Michigan’s lush landscape and deliciously warm summers make for great travel opportunities. Unfortunately, the pandemic put a hiatus on outings for many, if not most, people; however, sunny days and higher temperatures tend to lure people out of their extended hibernation.

The last couple of years’ trends assist in predictions for summer. Dave Lorenz, vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Travel Michigan, asserts that previous data demonstrate that as soon as Michiganders could travel, they did — storming beachfront communities, exploring nature trails and soaking up the fresh air.

“In the summertime, we primarily went ‘up north,’ both Michigan residents and others who know Michigan from the Great Lakes area,” said Lorenz.

West Michigan Tourist Association Executive Director Dan Sippel agreed, stating, “The U.P. showed strong growth in vacation activity last year, and it looks like that will be the case in 2022.”

Those who understand the travel economy say that last summer’s travel patterns resulted in an uneven rebound. While beach towns and smaller northern Michigan communities were bursting with eager patrons and, therefore, seeing a tremendous rebound, more prominent cities in southern Michigan, such as Grand Rapids and Detroit, eagerly awaited people’s return, according to Lorenz.

Lorenz said this year’s focus is balancing travel volume to help offset summer weekends. In 2021, communities found it difficult to sustainably manage large volumes of travelers in the same place and time.

“We’re encouraging people to visit busier, hot-spot destinations during the week, reserving the weekends for lesser-known destinations to ensure the best travel experience,” said Lorenz.

Sippel added that the tourist association recommends booking travel plans sooner than later.

The Pure Michigan campaign inspires Michiganders to explore, sightsee and take advantage of the state’s unique offerings. The tourist association issues a Carefree Travel Guide, a resource that gives people ideas for places to go and things to do — including local events, lodging properties and more — dispersed throughout the state at welcome centers and rest areas and online.

Lorenz remains enthusiastic about summer travel, prompting Michigander’s creativity and desire to discover what “Pure Michigan” means to them.


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