Travel survey shows 80% of Michiganders ready to hit the road when restrictions lift

Travel survey shows 80% of Michiganders ready to hit the road when restrictions lift

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Coronavirus-fueled travel restrictions have many people in Michigan feeling a little pent-up and dreaming about their next vacation. As Michigan’s stay-home orders begin to loosen, it’s no surprise a recent survey showed that 80% of people polled plan to hit the road for a little adventure in the coming months. Many of those say they plan to take their next vacations in Michigan.

“Taking a vacation in Michigan this year will be more important than ever,” said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan. “Keeping our leisure spending close to home will get Michiganders back to work and will fuel our economic comeback.”

The recent survey, which was supported in part by MLive Media Group, found 62% of those polled said they planned to travel within the first 90 days of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order being lifted. Also, 80% of respondents said they plan to travel within the first six months of restrictions easing.

Of the nearly 4,300 people polled, more than 75% said they plan to do their vacationing in-state this year, and more than 80% said they want to find fun things to do outdoors and avoid crowded spaces.

Secret Garden

A “river” of grape hyacinths flow through the Secret Garden in the spring. Grand Hotel plans to open this year in late June. Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel.

“The poll pointed out that Michigan residents seem more eager to travel as soon as possible than the average American,” Lorenz said.

“It will be important for vacationers to learn, before they go, whether the place they want to travel to is ready for their visit. Most communities in Michigan are developing their own safety protocols with expectations for businesses, residents and visitors to keep everyone safe.”

Michigan’s current stay-home order is set to expire on May 28. Whitmer has hinted there could be some extension, but it’s not clear what that would look like. The governor already has eased restrictions on retail, restaurants and bars in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan this weekend, and is allowing groups of up to 10 people to gather statewide, with proper social distancing precautions.

Tahquamenon Falls and River

The DNR has closed some areas of Tahquamenon Falls State Park amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of the DNR.Dave Kenyon | Michigan Department of Natural Resources

To see the state’s most updated list of coronavirus guidelines, check www.michigan.gov/coronavirus

The travel survey was conducted from April 23 – May 2, said Tim Baumgardner, a senior account director at MLive Media Group, which handles advertising, sales and marketing for the media company.

“We have seen a lot of data and information highlighting travel sentiment at the national and international level,” Baumgardner said. “We wanted to understand the sentiment of Michigan travelers as summer quickly approaches.”

“The survey data supported some early assumptions we had going in: Michigan residents are ready to hit the road, they will stay close to home, and safety concerns will be a factor.”

Want to read more about travel destinations in Michigan that are prepping for an uptick in tourism? Here are some of our latest stories:

Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel has a ‘Secret Garden’ that’s a social media sensation

Dreaming of Michigan: Alpena, Michigan’s Sunrise Coast gem

Mackinac Island lays out guidelines amid coronavirus: ‘Be prepared for a new normal’

Dreaming of Michigan: Port Austin, quiet beauty in Michigan’s Thumb

Michigan’s Best M-22 Road Trip, from Traverse City to Suttons Bay

Michigan’s Best road trip across the Upper Peninsula

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