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Cultural travelers generate substantial tourism business.  Americans for the Arts reports:

Travelers who incorporate cultural events into their trips differ from other U.S. travelers in a number of ways. Compared to all U.S. travelers in 2003, cultural travelers:

  • Spend more on average: $623 vs. $457
  • Are more likely to be retired: 20% vs. 16%
  • Use hotels, motels, or bed & breakfasts: 62% vs. 55%
  • Are more likely to spend more than $1,000: 19% vs. 12%
  • Travel longer: 5.2 nights vs. 3.4 nights
  • Travel by air: 19% vs. 16%

In addition to its direct economic impact, tourism can improve quality of life and build community.  When the arts and tourism communities work together to highlight the unique character of a place, they can harness market forces to educate and entertain visitors, preserve cultural assets, and engender community pride in its heritage and way of life.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation reports that total tourism spending in Michigan in 2011 was $13.1 billion. In analyzing what activities generated this spending, the activities related to arts, culture and historical tourism totaled $2.08 billion, 16% of the total, and more than golf, skiing, boating, hunting/fishing and hiking/biking combined.