Greater Lansing Leads State in Hotel Occupancy Growth

Leading the StateThe Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau recently announced that greater Lansing is leading the state in hotel occupancy growth.

“Business and leisure travel is up,” said Jack Schripsema, President and CEO of the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Lansing has seen a 59 percent increase in hotel occupancy this year as compared to 58.8 percent across the state. This means a 4.7 percent increase in our area compared to a 1.8 percent increase statewide.”

The numbers reflect the healthy growth in demand for local lodging and meeting space across the greater Lansing region.

Reasons for the rise in hotel occupancy include GLCVB’s increased sales and marketing efforts and enhanced collaboration with members, hotels and conference centers to drive business to the region. Previously, Lansing attracted mostly day trippers, those who would come for an event or activity for the day and then go home. The continually improving economy is giving more travelers the option of extending their hotel stays so they can enjoy more of what the region has to offer.

“The travel consumer is more confident than they were a couple of years ago,” said Michael Rice, General Manager of Quality Suites Hotel in Delta Township. “If an individual or group were coming for a one night’s stay last year, it is now a two-night’s stay.”

Quality Suites is also seeing better attendance from large groups such as wedding events, sports tournaments and corporate meetings.

“Overall, we are seeing a 3 percent to 7 percent increase in occupancy as compared to last year, both in the group and individual transient markets,” said Rice.

One way the GLCVB has changed the way they attract the group business and leisure market is through bundling activities together. Examples include family fun packages, romantic getaways and unique ideas for military families.

“We want people to see the greater Lansing area as a fun place to stay and play with multiple activities to enjoy,” said Schripsema. “We are also doing a much better job of developing relationships with, and attracting new, businesses into the area … We are reaching out to our members, hotels and conference centers to partner with them to win business. We are stronger when we work together.”

GLCVB has focused their marketing efforts on the region being a great place for group meetings. Centrally located, greater Lansing is a good value with plenty of meeting space for small to mid-size groups.

“We’ve achieved some hard-fought growth and it speaks well of the entire hospitality community,” said Schripsema. “Groups like Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, the Michigan Republican Party State Convention and the 2013 Midwest Women’s Bowling Tournament are just a few of the big events we’ve brought into town. The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau is committed to driving this growth for the rest of the year and beyond.”
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