Column: Visit Escanaba summer tourism update

ESCANABA — It seems like there are a lot of people interested in Delta County. New businesses and visitors are making their way to our area every day. Each year more people are looking at information online about Delta County as they plan vacations and look for new places to experience in the Upper Peninsula.

The U.P. State Fair completed another record-breaking week in 2019 and shows no sign of slowing down in the years to come. Visitors came from across the Midwest to stay with us for a while and enjoy the biggest event in the Upper Peninsula. The Fair Authority and management team continue to make improvements to the fair and grow this community asset every year.

Saturday at the fair was amazing as thousands of people filled the fairgrounds to take in all the experiences of the U.P. State Fair. It reminded me of going to a big college or pro football game with cars filling the streets and backing up traffic for miles. Escanaba Public Safety was on the scene and quick to reroute traffic for this brand-new inconvenience. New opportunities for Delta County to grow and develop are happening all the time, and the community is here to embrace and overcome all the challenges that come with it.

In addition to the U.P. State Fair, our area hosted numerous events that drew visitors to Delta County all summer long. Every week there were activities in the parks, on the water, at convention centers, and other beautiful locations across the county. This is a great strength of our community that helps to develop tourism and attract new visitors and residents.

Our area’s aptitude for hosting large events that attract tourists will be complimented by future infrastructure developments as well. Having successful events will lead to more resources for upgrades to the community at the fairgrounds, in our parks, and in public areas that will make this a better place to live and enjoy for everyone year-round.

Tourism adds resources to our community and more visitors are coming here every year. 2019 should be the biggest year for tourism in Delta County ever. With more local developments in the works, and a strong community that loves hosting events and visitors, we should see growth in this industry for years to come.

Visit Escanaba is the destination marketing organization for Delta County under Travel Michigan which is the group that runs the successful Pure Michigan brand for our state. In this role, we market the area to tourist across the Midwest and beyond. We are like the Pure Michigan for Delta County.

The biggest part of our marketing effort goes into raising awareness about this area through online marketing channels. We invest in creating ads and content that will reach people from outside Delta County and give them a reason to come check us out.

This year, Visit Escanaba will provide about 75 million impressions on websites and digital applications that will encourage people to visit Delta County and explore information and content on our website. We have also reached over one million people on our social media channels already this year with posts about the area. These numbers get better every year as people find out more about Delta County and look for more content to satisfy their curiosity. This increase in online performance and interest is a direct result of the fun and amazing things that this community does every day to make it exceptional.

These numbers are pretty good, but we are just scratching the surface of how much we can grow this community. There are a lot more people around the Midwest that still have not heard about the fun events and attractions that Delta County has to offer, including many people in the megamarket of Chicago. We have an amazing opportunity to grow and develop this area creating more wealth and opportunity for everyone that calls Delta County home. Keep up the good work and watch our community grow.

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Robert Micheau is executive director of Visit Escanaba