Patricia continues: "This is easy for them to do, as I used to operate my own website. Can you please forward this to whomever would be in charge of sending this site a direct link to Grand Haven's webpage for tourism purposes? I don't want my friends and family to think that Grand Haven must not be all that great because we are not a directly named link as the other lesser cities are currently.”
Marci Cisneros, executive director of the Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the state travel bureau’s website (michigan.org) does offer links to the local tourist bureau’s site (visitgrandhaven.com).
“However, the home page links that I believe Patricia is referring to is reserved for partnerships,” Cisneros said.
The featured destinations ("Hot Spots") on the Travel Michigan website pay into a co-op program so that they can gain additional exposure through marketing and advertising, explained Dave Lorenz, manager of industry, relations and international marketing for the state travel bureau.
“The partnerships provide an affordable way for these destinations to obtain regional and national exposure in a way they could not afford, on their own, since Pure Michigan pays for roughly half of the program, and all of the other destinations in Michigan benefit from the added exposure derived from the partner investment,” Lorenz said.
Grand Haven has long been involved in the Travel Michigan Beachtowns partnership program.
“In fact, Beachtowns was our very first partner for this extra exposure, long ago,” Lorenz said.
Cisneros said an independent partnership, such as the featured destinations, requires more of a budget than the Grand Haven organization can currently afford.
“This is why we pool our dollars together with other Lakeshore CVBs to form Michigan’s Beachtowns,” she explained. “These collective marketing dollars are matched by Travel Michigan, dollar for dollar, affording us a presence in Chicago, Detroit, Indy, etc. — something we could not afford on our own. This has been a worthwhile investment and one that we have been involved in for the past 12 years. In fact, Beachtowns was the pilot program that started the now very successful Pure Michigan partnerships.”
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