Tourism is one of the main economic engines of Michigan, with its abundance of both natural and man-made wonders that attract people from all over the state and all over the world. The Understanding Tourism for Michigan Communities program is a great way for organizations, groups and indviduals to learn more about what tourism can offer their community, and how to build up and maintain a sustainable, growing tourism industry.

There are many factors in creating and maintaining a strong tourism sector in a community, and also many possible avenues of tourism for communities to explore, such as agricultural tourism, culinary tourism, voluntourism, ecotourism, coastal tourism and heritage or cultural tourism.

Further exploration into these areas of tourism is necessary to understand how they can create and support a sustainable tourism industry. MSU Extension tourism educators can provide in-person workshops to help communities understand tourism in Michigan. The program discusses the relationship between sustainability and tourism; niche market areas identified as contributors to sustainable tourism, trends and opportunities, as well as existing resources for communities. It is a great learning opportunity for members of local planning boards and businesses, community members, economic development and nonprofit groups, educational institutions, residents or anyone in a community that wants to learn about what tourism can offer.

Answers to Your Key Questions

Key questions covered at the workshops include:

  • How much money does the tourism industry bring to Michigan?
  • Why is global tourism important and what can we learn from it?
  • How can niche tourism markets help to sustain communities?
  • How does tourism  impact ecology, society, and economic development?
  • What  are strategies to introduce and plan for tourism in your community?


For more information about the program or to schedule a workshop in your area, contact MSU Extension sustainable tourism educator Andy Northrop at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)or 810-989-6935.

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