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The 2024 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism Is Open for Registration

The annual conference will be held in Kalamazoo

By Kathy Gibbons

Participants gather at the 2023 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism. || Courtesy of Pure Michigan

Registration is now open for the 2024 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Scheduled for April 9-11 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo, the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism is cohosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (MACVB).

Larisa Draves, MACVB executive director, says “a very good lineup” is in place for the conference, which features several keynote speakers and a variety of workshops along with special events. More than 550 attendees representing destination marketing organizations, lodging, attractions, restaurants, and government entities including agencies like the Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan Department of Natural Resources as well as municipalities and townships are expected to attend.

The Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism brings the industry together, and broadly offers topics to educate the industry while allowing networking time,” Draves says. “A lot of collaborations and partnerships are bult, and for a lot of people, it’s the only time they see one another in person. I think that’s a very important part of the conference as well as continuing to bring high-level nationally known speakers to Michigan.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses attendees at the 2023 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism. || Courtesy of Pure Michigan

Among those slated to speak at the  2024 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism this year are John David, president and CEO of the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA). “He is going to come in and talk about the importance of [sports and events] and give us some economic impact data about sports and events and what they mean to our communities,” Draves says.

Another key presenter is Kristy Durso, founder and owner of Incredible Memories Travel, an organization that specializes in the unique travel situations associated with people who have disabilities or require special diets. “She will be talking about reframing accessibility, and she has also agreed to stay and speak to us in a breakout [titled] … ’But You Don’t Look Disabled,’” Draves explains.

Futurist and author Crystal Washington, CSP, will deliver the closing keynote focusing on the theme of revolutionary technology and trends. Washington will tailor her message to fit the specific types of professionals represented in the audience, Draves notes.

The conference will kick off with a Michigan Travel Commission meeting. Discover Kalamazoo will host an opening reception at Bell’s Brewery.

To register, click here. The deadline to register is April 1, 2024.

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