GR on track for record-breaking year of tourism

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Grand Rapids has become a true title holder in the past couple of years and it’s paying off.

Hotel revenue is up 7.5 percent from this same time last year putting Grand Rapids on track for the best year yet.

Tourism brought in more than $1 billion in economic impact in Kent County in 2012. The 2013 numbers will be released later this year.

Grand Rapids was named Lonely Planet’s number one destination for 2014. Experience GR told 24 Hour News 8 that they talked to last year’s top destination winner Louisville, Kentucky, and they saw real results.

Experience GR hopes the same results happen here.

“The lists really do make a difference because those are third party recognitions and third party evaluations of the destination,” said Janet Korn with Experience GR.

Grand Rapids also holds the title of “Beer City U.S.A.” Many visitors are coming to Grand Rapids to check out the breweries, although there are not any concrete numbers.

Experience GR will start trying to measure those visitors this year in order to get some hard numbers on the impact.

Grand Rapids is hosting the American Home Brewers Convention this summer, which is expected to bring in thousands of home brewers from all over the country.

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