Welcome to the newly created Experience Development Plan for Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region. This plan has been carefully curated to enhance the overall experience of our visitors and residents and elevate our brand.

At the GLBRCVB, we understand the importance of delivering exceptional experiences that leave a lasting impact on our visitors and residents. We believe that a well-designed Experience Development Plan is critical to achieving this goal, as it allows us to strategically plan and execute initiatives that focus on customer satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty.

Our Experience Development Plan is a comprehensive roadmap that outlines the steps we will take to create memorable experiences across all touchpoints, from the moment a customer interacts with our brand to post-purchase interactions. It is designed to align with our core values, vision, and brand identity, ensuring consistency and authenticity in every customer interaction.

A primary element of our Experience Development Plan is a deep understanding of our customers; needs, preferences, and expectations. Through extensive market research and customer insights, we have gained valuable knowledge that will shape our strategies and initiatives moving forward. This knowledge will enable us to tailor our experiences to our target audience, ensuring maximum impact and resonance.

Furthermore, our Experience Development Plan incorporates various initiatives to improve customer engagement and build long-lasting relationships. We will be implementing personalized communication strategies, leveraging technology to enhance convenience and accessibility, and creating unique and immersive experiences that differentiate us from our competitors.

We understand that exceptional experiences are not limited to the customer-facing aspects of our business. Therefore, our Experience Development Plan also includes internal initiatives focusing on employee engagement, training, and empowerment. We firmly believe that happy and motivated employees are the foundation of delivering outstanding customer experiences, and we are committed to fostering a positive work environment that supports their growth and development.

We are excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. We are confident that our Experience Development Plan will enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty and drive business growth and brand advocacy.

Yours in hospitality,

Annette M. Rummel, Ph.D.
CEO + Travel Trailblazer
Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Regional CVB


The purpose of this Experience Development Plan is to support the development of unique and compelling destination experiences focused on several immediate and strategic destination opportunities. The results will be to motivate additional overnight visits, extend the stay of day visitors, cause repeat visits, extend the season, disperse visitors across the destination, and generate economic return for the area.

The strategic goals outlined on the following pages provide the framework for developing our area for the benefit of our residents and visitors alike. These goals offer guidance on how to achieve the overarching vision to solidify MGLBR as a destination of choice for visitors.


With a vision of becoming a welcoming and inclusive region that celebrates our four seasons, natural assets, distinct experiences, connectivity, and shared community values, four strategic goals related to Experience Development were identified for the region.

It is important to note that the MGLBRCVB will play a role in each strategic goal, however that role will vary. Partner organizations will also participate in the implementation and success of these goals, for the benefit of the region.

All businesses that were able to weather the pandemic and 100-year flood have reopened and are operating according to their needs and workforce availability, however, the broader goal of attracting visitors to the region and supporting the rebuilding and growth of the industry will be driven by this plan.

These goals also support shaping the physical assets of the region. By undertaking placemaking initiatives and enhancing the sense of place, our communities will develop to the benefit of both the residents and visitors.

Strengthen and Diversify Experiences
Strategic Goal #1

Traditionally, the major industries of MGLBR have included chemical, specialty manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture and automotive. These strong industries have deep roots in the region and support a significant number of jobs, economic growth and business travelers.

By taking a deliberate and focused approach to continuing to grow the visitor economy, new jobs will be created, it will also enhance the quality of life in the region, lending to talent attraction for other industries. This supports balancing sustainable visitor growth with our community’s long-term health and vibrancy.


Suggested KPIs for Strategy #1:
Strengthen and diversify the local economy

– brand perception score
– number of visitors
– # of new room nights generated
– growth in economic impact

Strengthen and diversify the local economy: Chart #1
Strengthen and diversify the local economy: Chart #2
Strengthen and diversify the local economy: Chart #3
Strengthen and diversify the local economy: Chart #4
Strengthen and diversify the local economy: Chart #5
Strengthen and diversify the local economy: Chart #6
Enhance The Visitor Experience
Strategic Goal #2

Strong visitor experiences create repeat customers who share their recommendations with friends and family. The same is true for destination experiences. If visitors understand why they’re choosing to visit a destination and the experience from planning and booking their trip to the time they leave the destination matches or exceeds their expectations, they will return and they will recommend it to friends and family. It all begins with understanding the customer journey, touch points and barriers in MGLBR.


Suggested KPIs for Strategy #2:
Enhance the visitor experience

– Tripadvisor rating
– visitor satisfaction score
– attendance at events

Enhance the visitor experience: Chart #1
Enhance the visitor experience: Chart #2
Engage Locals
Strategic Goal #3

Engaging and supporting our residents and elected officials is important for many reasons. When you build a place where people want to visit, you build a place where people want to live, you build a place where people want to work, you build a place where businesses want to be located. Residents want to have a say in the future of their communities. By engaging residents and elected officials we open the lines of communication, build trust and develop support for tourism investments.


Suggested KPIs for Strategy #3:
Engage Locals

– Improved DNEXT score in 2025
– Resident sentiment score

Engage Locals: Chart #1
Engage Locals: Chart #2
Build the capacity of the tourism industry
Strategic Goal #4

MGLBRCVB is required by the State of MI to invest in destination development on an annual basis. Although, this requirement is not linked with a funding mechanism, MGLBRCVB is accomplishing this mandate. Doing this has helped us create an even more robust and vibrant travel sector within our region.


Suggested KPIs for Strategy #4:
Build the capacity of the tourism industry

– Hospitality industry placement rate
– # of frontline employees graduating from training program

Build the capacity of the tourism industry: Chart #1
Build the capacity of the tourism industry: Chart #2
Strategic Plan

As we plan for a strategic post-pandemic and flood recovery, we know that we can’t do it alone. Feedback from all of you supported the development of this plan. We will undoubtedly emerge and successfully recover as we Go Great, Together.


Post-pandemic, our region has changed as a destination. This plan develops a strategy that outlines how our branding and messaging should adjust through an eventual and successful travel rebound.

Read The Plan +
A Long-Term Investment

Aiming to preserve the quality of life for our residents and ensure quality experiences for visitors, this plan will guide the long-term sustainable planning and design of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region as a tourism destination.

Read More +