The Grand River and part of the downtown Grand Rapids skyline, as they appear in a national "Pure Michigan" commercial. Photo via youtube.com
Experience Grand Rapids reported that Kent County hotel occupancy and revenue are continuing to trend up in 2013 — following a record year in 2012.
The organization said that from January through May, occupancy is up 6 percent and revenue is up 10.1 percent.
“The reason is a combination of several factors,” said Janet Korn, vice president of marketing for Experience GR. “Our convention and meeting attendance has been strong, the healthy local business community is attracting more out-of-town visitors and tourism business is also strong.”
Korn said strength on several fronts should bode well for the rest of the year.
“Grand Rapids has momentum and this is evident in many areas, including tourism. Grand Rapids is gaining a reputation as a cool city with great art and culture, great food and craft beer, and outdoor recreation. This adds up to a more attractive place to visit.
“Experience Grand Rapids has continued to broaden our marketing efforts to attract new audiences. During the fall of 2011 we expanded into Chicago and this past June we expanded to a nationwide audience. Our efforts in Chicago are beginning to attract new visitors. The arrival of Southwest Airlines next month will open up new transportation options for visitors around the U.S.”
Experience Grand Rapids is optimistic that the rest of summer and 2013 will continue to see travelers filling up local hotels.
“Our hotels are reporting strong advance bookings and Grand Rapids continues to attract new visitors,” Korn said.