David Lorenz

David Lorenz, Vice President, Travel Michigan talks how the pandemic brought in with it a ‘disproportionate’ shift in the travel industry. He shares his opinions and perceptions with the readers of Travel And Tour World about how the association is gearing up to overcome the adversities and attract more tourists with a wealth of opportunities to explore Michigan.

Travel And Tour World: After two years of the pandemic, what changes have you faced in the tourism industry? Did it bring about any challenge with it?

David Lorenz: Certainly, the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on the state’s tourism industry, however, we are seeing that shift.  Michigan continues to see tourism numbers increase, hotel occupancy rates climb, and slowly but surely the conventions are returning.  Leisure travel in the state has rebounded very well, however business travel has rebounded as well, although progress is being made.  We still have work ahead of us, but the tourism industry in Michigan is resilient and we are optimistic that pre-pandemic travel numbers are close.

Businesses of all sizes have shown their ingenuity and creativity to address the challenges that face them and have shown to overcome adversities the pandemic brought with it.  Michiganders came together with Travel Michigan’s Two Peninsula’s, One Pure Michigan campaign to not only support a healthy Michigan, but to support the small businesses across our two peninsulas to support one another as individuals and communities.


Travel And Tour World: What initiatives are taken by the Michigan Tourism authority to contribute to national economic growth after the pandemic?

David Lorenz: At the center of the Great Lakes region, Michigan is a driver in both regional and national economic growth. The state’s Travel Director, David Lorenz and the entire Travel Michigan team are advocates for travel into and around the region and country.  Working closely with the US Travel Association and Brand USA the state advocates the tourism industry as a whole and the economic impact it has across the United States, we activity promote international and national travel to Michigan and the US.

Regional collaboration is key to a healthy travel industry.  Great Lakes USA, an international tourism collaborative and Cruise the Great Lakes are both tasked with increasing tourism in Michigan, the Great Lakes Region, Canada and the Saint Lawrence Seaway.


Travel And Tour World: Share in detail about your idea(s) to beef up Michigan’s tourism scene.

David Lorenz: We are working with our partners at the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and Michigan Governor Whitmer’s administration to build a robust electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state. The Lake Michigan EV Circuit has begun to get rolled out with the goal of providing enough chargers at locations along the route to support EV roundtrip travel around Lake Michigan.  This is yet another example of regional collaboration to increase tourism in the region.  This signifies that states understand the importance of working together in electrification efforts to provide a more sustainable and environmentally friendly travel option.

Travel Michigan is also working with statewide DMOs to ensure that our tourism destinations are as accessible and welcoming as possible.


Travel And Tour World: Fall is a significant season in the tourism calendar of Michigan. Share in detail how you are planning to attract more tourists for this Fall Tourism.

David Lorenz: Fall is a glorious time in Michigan.  With warm days and cooler temps in the evening, Michigan falls are the perfect time to visit the state and experience the kaleidoscope of leaves changing colors.  Michigan is known for having a long fall season where people can enjoy the season from early September in the Upper Peninsula to late October in the southern most parts of the state in both charming small towns to vibrant urban city centers. With Travel Michigan’s Pursue your Pure’ efforts as part of the award-winning Pure Michigan campaign, we are promoting the state to Michiganders and visitors alike to experience why Michigan falls are a must-do.

Promoting Michigan’sagritourism industry is another important effort to attract visitors to Michigan in the fall.  U-pick orchards, farmer’s markets and roadside stand activities peak in the fall as travelers tour the state experiencing fall color tours.The tourism website provides a wealth of tools to help travelers experience what Michigan has to offer. From real-time fall color guides to itinerary ideas, Michigan.org is the place to plan your travels.  The Pure Michigan advertising campaign leverages owned, earned, and paid materials to attract more tourists to Michigan as well.


Travel And Tour World: What are the highlighted attractions in Michigan that you would like to promote for tourism?

David Lorenz: Michigan is known as the Great Lake State.  The lakes, beaches, and beautiful communities that dot our shorelines are some of the state’s most precious assets.  With the nation’s longest freshwater coastline at nearly 3,300 miles, the Great Lakes are a major driver to the state’s economy.  As a four-season destination, the state also offers the second most alpine ski areas of any state and boasts the moniker of being the Trail State.  Whether hiking, biking, kayaking or canoeing, Michigan offers thousands of miles of trails for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.  A growing industry in the region is freshwater cruising, bringing people all throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River system.  With cruise destinations in Detroit, Mackinac Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Muskegon and Holland, cruise goers get to combine luxury and adventure at some of Michigan’s favored destinations.  What an incredible way to experience vibrant culture-rich city scenes like Detroit and quaint small towns like Mackinac Island and Holland.


Travel And Tour World: What grade of tourists do you expect during the Fall (upscale/midscale)?

David Lorenz: Michigan offers travel options across the scale in every corner of this great state.  From rustic camping to 5-start resorts, Michigan truly does offer an experiences and memory-inducing opportunities for all looking to experience Michigan. The state boasts a great level of diversityof people, places and seasons that lures people from all stages in life offering everything from low cost to luxury travel opportunities.


Travel And Tour World: Michigan tourism has already come a long way since it started its journey. Where do you wish to see this esteemed tourism organization in the next 5 years?

David Lorenz: Our goal is to have Michigan be seen as the most welcoming destination in the country by bringing people together with acceptance and appreciation for all.  When we succeed with that goal, travel volumes will increase along with the financial health of the state’s tourism industry, more jobs will be created and the state’s overall economic strength and society in general will be stronger and more resilient.


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