As many were still adjusting to the etiquette of social distancing and getting up to speed on the specifics of the latest executive order, Pure Michigan unveiled its “Two Peninsulas, One Pure Michigan” marketing campaign, encouraging statewide strength and unity in the midst of COVID-19.

Just a few months later, as many slowly emerged from quarantine, the organization launched its second initiative, the Pure Michigan Pledge.

“We launched this initiative to try to get as many people in our community as possible to link up and work together,” says Travel Michigan vice president Dave Lorenz. “In these stressful times, we’ve got to band together to show residents and visitors that we’re all taking this seriously and committed to their safety.”

Designed to foster trust in Michigan’s business, hospitality and tourism communities, and to encourage safe travel throughout the state, the Pure Michigan Pledge represents a firm promise to uphold safety protocols and CDC travel guidelines. “We’re all doing smart things to keep everyone safe, but this pledge lets people know where we stand. Travelers know they’re in good hands and residents know that the more businesses take the pledge, the more comfortable they can feel at home,” says Lorenz.

Businesses that take the pledge can download a toolkit of printable assets including tent and rack cards, posters, window signs, email logos and more to promote their promise. Hundreds of businesses have pledged and “it’s having an impact. People are getting out there, and we had a very busy summer but pledging to take these safety precautions will be more important than ever in these winter months,” he says.

With no specific deadline, the pledge will remain an ongoing effort to keep businesses top of mind and connected. “With the meetings, conference and convention sector of our community likely to be one of the last to recoup, we’re doing all we can to try to help our economy recover and get our community back up and running.”

After 36 years as director of the CVB, Peter Fitzsimons is retiring. By Shelley Levitt

In 1985, Peter Fitzsimons, a former hotel general manager, became the executive director of the newly formed Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau. He never left. In June, the 73-year-old Detroit native announced that he’d be stepping down from the role at the end of the year. 

MIM+E: When did you begin your career in hospitality?

 

It’s hard, if not impossible, to beat the beauty of Michigan when it comes to leaf peeping and other autumn activities.

 

When executed safely, in-person meetings and events are possible. But it’s been tough for meeting planners across the nation, due to differing state-by-state and even county-by-county guidelines. In some areas, meetings and events have returned a while ago, but for others, it’s hard to imagine what planning a meeting would be like.