Travel

Michigan residents have summer travel plans, but rising costs force them to adjust – Daily Tribune

Michigan residents are determined to hit the road and visit their favorite places this summer, even if they stay a little closer to home and spend a little less money.

Even with consumer prices at a 40-year high, there is still pent-up demand for travel.

David Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, expects higher spending to impact traveler behavior this summer.

“Even with all these additional costs, we expect and know that people will continue to make their trips, but most likely they will stay closer to home,” he said. “All of this inflationary spending is cutting into that discretionary income and taking away dollars that Michigan residents could have saved for vacations.”

Lorenz said Pure Michigan, the state’s flagship tourism ad campaign, will only be sold in the Great Lakes region this year.

“People will be traveling this year, but the trips will be fewer miles,” he said. It will be harder for us to lure people from Dallas, Atlanta and other places around the country that have long had Clean Michigan on their travel list.”

While people have less money to spend on travel, Lorenz believes that for most people, travel is no longer a luxury but a necessary mental health benefit.

In May, only a third of American travelers believed that COVID-19 would have a significant impact on their travel experience, and less than one in five recent travelers experienced pandemic anxiety during their most recent trip, according to a study by destinationanalysts.com.

“We need it for health,” Lorenz said. “We need to get out of the house. We need to get away from what is our norm and get to a place where we see it as something different, fun, interesting, exciting, relaxing and reconnecting. People will continue to travel and spend as much as they can, but they will change how they are going to spend on the trip.”

Beach in northern Michigan. (Mark Cavitt/Oakland Press)

In November 2021, according to the latest data from the US Department of Transportation, 21% of Michigan residents stayed at home every day. This is up from 29.3% in November 2020.

In Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, between 29% and 33% of residents stayed at home each day through November 2020. These figures have dropped to 21-23%. For Isabella and Gratiot counties in central Michigan, the percentages dropped from 23% to 26% in November 2020 to 16% and 18% in November 2021.

Parks will be popular

As Michigan residents plan shorter trips closer to home, Lorenz said local parks that offer a variety of activities are seeing visitor growth for the second year in a row.

Matt Purdy, Red Oaks County Park Supervisor in Madison Heights, said the opening of Oakland County’s two water parks this summer, for the first time since 2019, draws thousands of people who visit each year.

Kellogg Park in Plymouth, Michigan on Thursday, June 2, 2022. (Mark Cavitt/The Oakland Press)
Kellogg Park in Plymouth, Michigan on Thursday, June 2, 2022. (Mark Cavitt/Oakland…

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