Capitol Region to Host Record-Breaking Numbers in 2015
The Numbers Tell the Story
According to a 2013 study performed by the Anderson Economic Group, the Greater Lansing region welcomes 4.7 million visitors every year, generating an annual economic impact of over $472 million dollars. While that influx of outside spending is great for local businesses, there is more. Lots of local jobs. Research shows that over 6,400 Greater Lansing area residents work in fields that help support visitors to the area. Last year, Greater Lansing residents earned $140 million in wages working in the tourism industry and then used that money building a life in our community. A healthy tourism industry helps provide significant tax relief for area residents as well. Guests to our region pay taxes on fuel, lodging, food and much more. The total is an average of over $22 million dollars in state taxes annually and $395 million dollars to the Greater Lansing GDP.
Why Do They Visit?
Of course thousands come each year to visit our local attractions like museums, galleries and the State Capitol Building. Millions more travel to the region to visit family attending Michigan State University or to attend a Spartan sports event. But it doesn’t stop there. An increasingly large number of the visitors to the Greater Lansing area, especially those that stay numerous days in area hotels, are visiting for a conference, sports tournament or convention. Why and how do these groups choose Greater Lansing? Enter the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau (GLCVB) and the Greater Lansing Sports Authority (GLSA); local non-profit entities dedicated to retaining, recruiting and assisting with meetings, tournaments and events for the area. How is that accomplished? The GLCVB/GLSA’s efforts are two-fold: One, marketing Greater Lansing to event professionals and tournament rights holders across the country as a potential host-city and two, working with local organizations and clubs to make events already held in the area bigger and better than ever.
Planting Seeds for the Future
With one of the longest sales cycles you’ll find, seeds planted in the destination marketing industry often don’t bear fruit for several years. After all, choosing the destination is just one of many key components of planning an event for 100, 1,000 or even 10,000 attendees. All that said, the seeds have taken hold, creating an event orchard of sorts and bringing about the busiest convention year in Greater Lansing since the GLCVB was founded in 1960.
Big Groups, Bigger Impact
Key groups coming to the area include the National Order of the Arrow, scouting’s second-largest national event, bringing over 17,000 visitors to East Lansing in August and $3.5 million in economic impact. Then consider Odyssey of the Mind; a massive international event held in the area every other year bringing 8,000 competitors and 10,000 coaches, officials and family members as well as an influx of $8 million for the local economy. The 2015 USA Girls Hockey Tier II National Championships will bring 36 teams and over 2,500 coaches, family and fans to the area. Did you know there is a conference for people that plan conferences? It’s called OrgPro, and when it comes to downtown Lansing in June 2015, the over 400 event professionals in attendance will be evaluating the Capitol region as a potential host for future events. These are just a few of the over 200 events headed to the Capital Region in this record-smashing 2015.
So to finally answer the question — what does a tourist in Greater Lansing look like? In 2015, simply look around. One is probably sitting right next to you.