Michigan Golfer ON-LINE

Michigan Travel Bureau tees it up again
by Art McCafferty

The Michigan Golf Task Force chaired by Terry Schieber, Shanty Creek's CEO and member of the Michigan Travel Commission, is planning another proactive year as they come off a benchmark year in 1996.

Last year, the task force provided the guidance to the Michigan Travel Bureau in launching a state wide golf Web site, developing a print campaign in support of Michigan golf, providing financial support to broadcast and cable television shows depicting Michigan courses and resorts, making a commitment to provide the research the industry has requested and finally, identifying Rick Smith as Michigan's "Official" spokesperson. They did all of this while our state basked in the glow of hosting the prestigious U.S. Open.

While the task force has a tough act to follow, they have developed some equally imaginative programs for this year. Tom Altemus, director of the Travel Bureau, lauded the task force's work at a November kickoff meeting for 1997 plans that was held in Frankenmuth. However, he cautioned the group by indicating that Michigan's increase, while positive in scope, is still lower than some surrounding states. "We have to continue to press on with our efforts as the tourism industry is highly competitive."

One of this year's plans calls for a tourism partnership with AT&T. Known as the Michigan ADvantage, the Travel Bureau and AT&T want to make sure that the tourism industry gets on the World Wide Web. Scott Staunton of AT&T and Ron Marabate of the MTB are heading up the campaign to get the industry on-line.

The MTB is also providing funds to assist in an out-state distribution of 300,000 copies of Golfing in Michigan as a direct mail piece to major golf magazine subscribers. Altemus would like to raise this number to half a million copies next year.

Nancy Dockter, director of Marketing Services for MTB, indicated that the department will support seven Michigan based television shows that are prepared for the PBS show, Golfing the Great Lakes. Don Wyckoff, the overall point person for the MTB in golf, made sure that Michigan was well represented out-state as he headed up Michigan industry golf booths at both the Chicago and Toronto shows. They will survey the participants and distribute the Drive Michigan promotional piece and a Guide to Michigan's Great Landscapes.

Dave Morris, Director of Research for the MTB, in collaboration with Eastern Michigan University's Marketing Department will be producing additional research for the industry this year. The research will concentrate on in-state and out-state golfer profiles and also delve into the economic impact that golf has upon the state. Finally, the MTB announced that Treetops' Rick Smith has been signed to a three year contract to represent the State of Michigan in golf promotion.

With Michigan continuing to lead the country in the number of public courses, new course openings, courses under construction and courses being planned, it is gratifying to know that we have so much support and leadership from our state government.

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