Tourism in the doldrums

Michigan State Roundup

Published November 1, 2002  | November 2002 issue

The tourism sector was dealt a poor hand this year, and little hope remains for a trump card. Despite early estimates for a potential 3 percent increase in visitors, U.P. tourism organizations are now predicting just the opposite—a 3 or 4 percent loss.

At the start of the year, for example the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau in Delta County anticipated an increase in tourism revenue in 2001, but now they're hoping to break even, which means tourism still would be down 5.9 percent from 2000.

The aftermath of the terrorist attacks gave way to a poor fall tourism turnout in 2001. The winter season didn't fare much better. Due to little snowfall, outdoor enthusiasts took their skis and snowmobiles elsewhere. In the summer, campgrounds nationwide experienced a strong start but dropped off in August. Through late August, campgrounds in the U.P. handed out 3,208 camping permits, up 31 percent from 2,225 permits in 2001. However, travelers seemed to be shortening their visits, which is reflected in the 6.3 percent decrease in total funds campgrounds received.

Rosie Cataldo