Benzie County Joins Traverse City Tourism
TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Northern Michigan’s tourism marketing brand is expanding. This January, members of the hotels and other lodging facilities in Benzie County voted to make Traverse City Tourism their new convention and visitors bureau.
“When regional communities come together, they create a stronger marketing presence for travelers,” says Trevor Tkach, President/CEO of Traverse City Tourism. “Collaborating with Benzie County allows us to tell bigger stories about our area’s greatest attractions, like skiing, fishing, golf, trails, watersports, and more.”
The Community Convention or Tourism Marketing Act (Public Act 395 of 1980) enables the collection of assessments within municipalities in the state of Michigan to support tourism and convention marketing programs. Such marketing programs are provided by nonprofit convention and tourist bureaus, such as Traverse City Tourism, which has won regional and national awards for its work as a destination marketing organization.
“Traverse City Tourism is a recognizable brand throughout the world,” says Judy Remmert, Chair of the Benzie County Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “As a rural area, we’ve done very well marketing statewide and to neighboring states, but now we will have the opportunity to market Benzie County nationally and internationally.”
The 22 participating Benzie County properties will begin paying a 5% assessment on room charges to Traverse City Tourism March 1. Assessment dollars go toward funding the nonprofit’s marketing and sales efforts.
“There is great value in regional marketing versus individual destination marketing,” Tkach says. “It helps us create a diverse selection of attractions that bring visitors here during all four seasons. Developing a sustainable tourism model that doesn’t just focus on summer business is one of our top priorities for all of northern Michigan.”
For both Tkach and Remmert, supporting events and activities in Benzie County and promoting the small-town spirit of the area are key elements of the partnership.
“We will maintain our quaint village atmosphere and reputation as an outdoor destination,” says Remmert. “Our scenic M-22 and US-31 corridors offer pristine access to Lake Michigan shoreline, hiking trails, steelhead fishing, skiing, and numerous other year-round activities that are unique to Benzie County. All of these will be wonderful additions to Traverse City Tourism’s offerings.”
Traverse City Tourism will begin promoting Benzie destinations and events immediately. Members (hotels and lodging facilities) and affiliates (restaurants, retail, and attractions) will be added to the Traverse City Tourism website—which receives over 2 million visits annually. Lodging properties will also be featured in a special Benzie visitor guide.
“Traverse City Tourism’s expertise in storytelling marketing was the foundation for Benzie to trust us to be their CVB,” says Justin Mortier, Chair of Traverse City Tourism’s Board of Directors. “Benzie was already well positioned, and this is their next opportunity to grow. The partnership will be a beacon for the state and will strengthen the appeal and reach of our region.”
Tkach and the Traverse City Tourism team are excited to enhance the nonprofit’s contribution to area visitors.
“Travelers don’t see county lines in the same way locals do,” he says. “Bringing together regional destinations encourages people to explore more, stay longer, and return for new experiences in the area.”
About Traverse City Tourism
Traverse City Tourism is a nonprofit corporation that serves as the area’s official destination marketing organization. Traverse City Tourism works to enhance, reinforce, and develop the Traverse City brand by telling the Traverse City story to potential visitors through advertising, marketing, trade shows, publications, sales missions, media relations, and Visitor Center services. Its experienced and knowledgeable team members are motivated by pride for their community and a desire to advance its economic well-being without sacrificing the values that make it a pretty great place. For details on lodging, attractions, and area events, visit traversecity.com.