Community News |Oct 9, 2019|2 min read

Muskegon County showed a 4.5% increase in visitor spending in 2018 compared to 2017, according to figures released today by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Travel Michigan – the state’s tourism promotion and marketing arm.


The 2018 Economic Impact of Tourism in Michigan report, conducted by Tourism Economics of Wayne, PA, showed a 4.5% increase in visitor spending to $327.32 million, up from $313.34 million in 2017. The report looks at visitor spending in the lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation, and transportation sectors for each county in Michigan.


According to the research, the Tourism and Hospitality industries in Muskegon County also provide 3,193 direct and 4,715 indirect jobs in the County, with $93.24 million in direct labor income and $149.55 million in indirect labor income. The employment number equates to 7.5% of total employment in Muskegon County.


“We have known for years that the Tourism and Hospitality industries in Muskegon County are growing, providing increasing revenues, jobs, and income for Muskegon County businesses and residents, and the state’s 2018 tourism impact numbers confirm that fact,” said Bob Lukens, CDME, Community Development Director for Muskegon County and Director of Visit Muskegon, the county’s convention and visitors bureau.


“We continue to witness growth throughout the county with new lodging properties, restaurants, retailers, breweries, and other projects underway or recently completed. As Muskegon County continues to grow as a visitor destination, we anticipate increasing year-round tourism with the development of the convention center and additional tourism-related businesses in the county.”


The State of Michigan saw 3.9% growth in visitor spending to $25.7 billion in 2018, up from $24.7 billion in 2017.


“The State of Michigan cannot lose its advantage in the extremely competitive state tourism marketing landscape, and the success of the Pure Michigan program – perhaps the most successful state tourism marketing program in the United States – is not something the state can afford to lose,” Lukens said. “The state and local tax revenues collected from visitor spending is over $2.7 billion, and those revenues help fund the myriad of programs that make a difference in the lives of Michigan residents.”