Trevor Tkach: Getting the visitors you want | Business

Editor’s note: This article was published in the Economic Outlook 2021 section of Record-Eagle. For more stories, click here to read the section fully online.


The visitor economy was an important building block and partner in the growth of the strong business world we have today. It creates a lively and fun place to live and supports entrepreneurs and the creative culture of our region.

As a community, it is important that we continue to welcome newcomers and visitors, just as we support our existing neighbors and communities in need of support. We know that people will move here and continue their summer hikes north, even without our greetings.

So why, you might ask, is it still important to keep promoting tourism in Traverse City? Three reasons – among many – top the list.

  • 1) We don’t leave it to others to define what travel to Northern Michigan is about. Responsible tourism represents the many approaches that we pursue with the aim of improving this region for both the locals and the visitors.

For example, our marketing supports the regional economy all year round and helps small businesses stay viable and open beyond the summer months. Our targeted marketing and group sales efforts are primarily focused on attracting visitors during our least busy months. We’re working to spread the visits across the calendar and midweek, encouraging people to explore the entire area instead of focusing on the busiest areas.

  • 2) We target travelers who fit well with the community values, attractions and amenities of our region.

These are visitors who value natural beauty, outdoor recreation, farm-to-table food, and support creative small businesses and artisans. You come to experience a lot of what we – as residents – love about our home. They will help us protect our region for the future by being conscientious and by devoting their time and resources to important local causes. They will likely come back, visit off-peak hours and help attract like-minded future visitors.

  • 3) “Today’s tourist is tomorrow’s talent.” This topic was well received during Traverse Connect’s most recent business strategy summit, which focused on talent acquisition. Research has shown this to be true – people who have seen Traverse City Tourism’s marketing and visited the area are 3.8 times more likely to think this is a great place to start a career and 4.6 times more likely to think it’s a good place to start a business than those who didn’t. More than 50 percent of respondents in the Midwestern markets surveyed know our advertising.

At a time of severe labor shortages across all industries, we recognize the importance of human capital to sustain the great things that this community has built and on which they rely. People move here with excitement and optimism. We as a community are very welcome to you.

Responsible tourism allows us to focus on telling the history of the country, the history, the groups that give back, the exciting events and offers and our entrepreneurial spirit.

The fact that people can find and enjoy the fruits of our region helps ensure their future viability.

Whether we’re helping visitors find a path system, a music night, or a specially made chocolate or glass of wine, we strive for strong partnerships and remain an excellent source of information and inspiration for locals and visitors alike.

With our continued focus on responsible tourism, we can overcome seasonal dependency and stimulate economic activity when our community needs it most.

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