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Local Tourism Leader Expresses Optimism Despite Rising Gas Prices


HOLLAND, MI (WHTC) - With gas prices already hovering around the four-dollar mark, there are fears that Michigan tourism will take a big hit, as people would be less likely to travel. However, Holland Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Sally Laukitis, a member of the Michigan Travel Commission, says that the impact at the pump won’t be that bad for her industry, especially with the success of the Pure Michigan campaign in neighboring states.

Lessons learned from two years ago, when fuel was over the four-dollar mark during the spring, are being put to use, such as having front-line hospitality training for clerks at convenience stores and gas stations to make travelers feel more welcome on their journey, and having tourism bureaus be more flexible, more agile, and more creative in attracting visitors to their communities. Laukitis also puts the gas price spike in some perspective, saying that, on average, it adds about 50 total dollars in the transportation costs of a trip. Locally, she says that hotel demand has already been high for Holland’s annual signature event, the Tulip Time Festival, slated for early May.

A podcast of Laukitis' interview is here:http://whtc.com/podcasts/whtc-news/calming-travel-industry-fears-sally-laukitis/