The Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan (TICOM) is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2024. Kim Corcoran takes the lead as president this year, with other officers including Holly Laurencelle as vice president, Jada Paisley as treasurer, Jenelle Jagmin as secretary, and Directors-at-Large Derek Bajema, Dan McCole, and Chad Wiebesick.
Executive director of Meetings Michigan, Corcoran is excited about the year ahead for TICOM. The group’s membership is comprised of more than 55 organizations across Michigan representing attractions, corporations, media, statewide tourism associations, and destination marketing organizations.
Here, she shares some of her thoughts about TICOM’s purpose and priorities.
M+E: How would you describe the role of TICOM and where it fits in Michigan’s tourism support landscape?
Corcoran: TICOM is the most diverse and inclusive organization in our sector, representing nearly every facet of Michigan’s travel industry. Our membership … ranges from Michigan associations such as boating, camping, golfing, museums, snowsports, retailers, transportation, festivals and events, wineries, and more. We also have strong ties with universities, DMOs, government agencies, and media outlets. This year, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary, our commitment to fostering collaboration and connectivity across our industry is stronger than ever.
M+E: What are the most important initiatives TICOM is working on right now?
Corcoran: In the spirit of collaboration, which is the essence of TICOM’s mission, we are actively involved in several key events. First, a key event this year is our Legislative Luncheon on Feb. 13 at Heritage Hall at the State Capitol, a collaborative effort between TICOM and MACVB (Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus). This event symbolizes the unity and shared goals within our industry.
Emphasizing our role as a collaborative partner, TICOM is committed to serving as a communication hub for Michigan’s diverse travel and tourism industry. We are more than happy to share any information or updates from the Michigan Travel Commission to our entire membership. This role enables us to amplify key messages and initiatives, ensuring that important information is shared broadly throughout Michigan’s travel industry.
Later in February, TICOM and MACVB will jointly host a webinar titled “Marketing Opportunities at Michigan Welcome Centers and Rest Areas.” This session will feature staff from the MDOT Welcome Center program, who will discuss various marketing opportunities available at Welcome Centers and rest areas across Michigan. This is an excellent chance for participants to learn about unique promotional avenues in these key travel spots.
In April, our involvement in the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism and the TICOM Collaboration Awards underscores our commitment to unifying and promoting our industry. This will be the 16th year that TICOM has hosted the Collaboration awards to recognize innovative collaboration within Michigan’s tourism industry.
We also partner with Travel Michigan for the statewide recognition of National Travel and Tourism Week for an event on Monday, May 20, on Belle Isle. This year, TICOM is proud to collaborate with Michigan Cares for Tourism and Visit Detroit to be a part of an initiative that not only promotes tourism but also embodies the spirit of community and stewardship. The event is set to be a day of meaningful action and engagement, where volunteers will contribute to the beautification and maintenance of Belle Isle. Hundreds of volunteers will be involved in various tasks such as landscaping, replacing lumber on picnic tables, painting shelters, and more to make sure the facilities are safe and inviting for park visitors. Please join us for NTTW and our TICOM membership meeting.
For NTTW, our primary goal is direct engagement with TICOM members and leveraging their networks for greater impact. Visit Detroit’s broad network will be invaluable for this, and we’re exploring further collaborations with them and other local entities like the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.
M+E: Any thoughts on new directions/issues the group will be focusing on in 2024-25?
Corcoran: We are advocating for tourism as one of the top drivers of our state’s economy. We need to continue to beat our drum that tourism means business, and business means more jobs for our state’s workers. We will be relentless in our pursuit of legislation that supports our growing industry.