Hotel revenue in Flint & Genesee saw increases in September and year to date, pointing to a strong tourism industry in the county.

Smith Travel Research (STR) reported that hotel revenue was up 6.3 percent in September, and up 2.7 percent year over year.

“The meetings, events and attractions bringing people to Flint & Genesee are boosting hotel revenue,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which includes the Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). “Any time we bring people here, it creates an economic ripple effect.

“Tourism brings in money for our restaurants, facilities, attractions, retail establishments, parks and more. What’s good for our businesses and visitors is ultimately good for our residents, as well.”

Some of the 2014 events resulting in big numbers of booked room nights included the Michigan VFW’s annual Department Joint Testimonial event in the spring and its summer state convention, both at Holiday Inn Gateway Centre in Flint.

“The VFW events accounted for about 600 room nights,” CVB Director Cheryl DeFrain said.

The Cannabis Cup at Auto City Speedway in July and the Hero Roundtable at The Whiting in September also drew large numbers of out-of-town guests. All these events are expected to return in 2015.

Following national trends, sports tournaments continue to draw huge numbers of people to Flint & Genesee, as well, DeFrain said. Our region hosted large tournaments this year in tennis, softball, baseball, hockey, football and soccer.

DeFrain also credits joint marketing efforts with partner Pure Michigan and its summer “Warm Weather Campaign” for the increase in tourism and hotel revenue.

“Our county has so much to offer in our warmer months, and the Flint & Genesee CVB has been working to promote our events and attractions in partnership with Pure Michigan,” DeFrain said. “This year, we targeted the Fort Wayne and South Bend, Ind., areas when marketing Flint & Genesee, and we believe this messaging was successful.

“Pure Michigan reported that the click-through rate to the Flint & Genesee CVB website was up more than 700 percent, so the interest in our region as a destination is certainly there.”

The CVB supports Flint & Genesee for all tourism needs including, but not limited to, lodging, motor coach tours, conventions, sport activities, reunions, weddings, car shows and clubs and individual tourism.

For more information, contact the Flint & Genesee CVB at (810) 600-1404 or