Published May 1, 2001 | May 2001 issue
Michigan tourists may be looking for bargains in their own backyards this coming summer. Michigan State University Tourism Center's 2001 forecast predicts travelers in the state will be making more last-minute inexpensive trips and be wary of planning costly vacations.
While the predictions are based on the slowing economy and falling consumer confidence, the good news is Michigan may reap the benefits this summer if tourists remain within state lines. The forecast predicts overall travel spending to grow about 3 percent this year, a decline from 8.6 percent in 2000. Travelers within the state can expect to see prices rise about 3 percent on meals and about 4 percent on hotel rooms, nearly the same increase as last year. The number of people traveling should be up 2 percent.
To entice vacationers in an uncertain economy, a university tourism center official advises hotel and resort owners to reduce prices now if they want to have a successful year and for others in the tourism industry to advertise well into the summer.