Promoting tourism in the U.P.

HARRIS — Tourism is one of the driving forces of the local economy in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The beauty of the landscape, the Great Lakes and other regional attractions bring in a large number of visitors each and every year. Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, created and implemented the “Pure Michigan” campaign enjoying a sustained success since 2006. By all metrics, the campaign has driven tourism to the state of Michigan and helped local economies. And now, the U.P. is set to capture the benefits of the Pure Michigan campaign on a long term sustained basis.

On March 15, 2017, the Hannahville Indian Community and the state of Michigan extended the Tribal Gaming Compact for 25 years. An integral part of the negotiation was revenue sharing and the use of those funds. Due to the success of the Pure Michigan campaign, the Hannahville Indian Community requested that a portion of the revenue sharing funds, approximately $500,000 per year, be used primarily through the Pure Michigan campaign to increase Upper Peninsula tourism. Travel Michigan will consult with the Tribe regarding the use of the funds for the campaign, which should start in the spring of 2018.

Ken Meshigaud, tribal chairperson, stated “The promotion of tourism in the central Upper Peninsula is important to the Hannahville Indian Community Tribal Council. The use of the Pure Michigan Campaign is a proven success and providing funding to the campaign through our compact will directly benefit our regional businesses and residents.”

The Delta County Chamber of Commerce Director Vickie Micheau, stated, “As a result of this agreement, Travel Michigan will have additional funds available to expand their audience reach, bringing more visitors to the central Upper Peninsula and the entire State. We applaud the Hannahville Indian Community for their efforts to reach an agreement with the state of Michigan to develop a plan that will positively affect the regional economy long into the future.”

The Hannahville Indian Community and Travel Michigan will meet periodically to promote different aspects and features of the Upper Peninsula to keep the campaign relevant from year to year with the goal of increasing tourism on our area.

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Tony Mancilla is general manager of the Island Resort and Casino