SAULT STE. MARIE, Michigan – Last week Travel Michigan/MEDC held a strategic planning work session in Sault Ste. Marie–one of many being held across the state this summer.
Fueled by the success of the Pure Michigan campaign, the updated strategic plan will extend five years to 2017. The vision statement for the planning sessions is: “Michigan is one of America’s favorite four seasons travel experiences.” (Remember, this is the vision statement for workgroup purposes, not a campaign tagline.) The session in Sault Ste. Marie proved to have good turnout, but more impressively, the participants were all highly experienced and passionate individuals from the travel industry and related stakeholders.
Tourism has long been one of the state’s top three industries and is on the uptick. Cities and villages are absolutely key stakehodlers in this economic driver, so if you don’t have one of these meetings on your calendar yet, it’s not too late and there is no fee. You can find 10 more meeting locations and dates by going to this website and then clicking on Industry Meeting Registration. (But hurry, the next one is July 18!).
The process is one of group participation. The vision statement has eight “goal themes.” Participants are divided into groups by these goal themes, and the task of each group is to identify objectives for each goal, and strategies to achieve the objectives. Sault Ste. Marie worked on six of the eight goals, and by the session’s end, it was clear they were tying together. I anticipate the end result will provide very clear direction. The more municipal voices at the table, the more influence you have on shaping this important policy. Let’s keep the momentum going!
Caroline Kennedy is manager of field operations for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at email@example.com.