Pure Michigan: Frankenmuth tops list of tourist destinations - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Pure Michigan: Frankenmuth tops list of state's tourist destinations

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(Credit: Frankenmuth Pure Michigan Commercial) (Credit: Frankenmuth Pure Michigan Commercial)
(WJBK) -

The city of Frankenmuth is the most popular place to visit in the state according to a report on Michigan's $17.7 billion tourism economy.

Dubbed 'Michigan's Little Bavaria,' the town of fewer than 5,000 people receives 3 million visitors each year mlive.com notes. A Bridge Magazine report credits the state's Pure Michigan marketing campaign with attracting a growing number of out-of-state residents who brought about $1 billion to Michigan's economy.

Long dominated by in-state travelers, Michigan's tourism industry has fundamentally changed in recent years.  State data shows that out-of-state visitors in 2011 spent more money on leisure travel in Michigan ($6.8 billion) than state residents did ($6.2 billion).

Call it the Pure Michigan effect.

Since launching in 2006, the marketing campaign narrated by the soothing voice of actor Tim Allen has showcased the state's natural splendor to a growing audience.

"We believe that our potential to get a bigger and bigger share of the national travel market, especially for summer travel, is enormous," George Zimmermann, vice president for Travel Michigan at the Michigan Economic Development Corp tells Bridge Magazine. "In some ways I feel like we're just getting started."

According to state data, Holland State Park is the state's second largest attraction and receives 1.9 million visitors a year. The Henry Ford Museum ranks 4th and the Woodward Dream Cruise 8th on the top 10 list of Michigan's top attractions.

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