State names VP to lead 'Pure Michigan'
An award-winning tourism executive and Michigan native will be the new vice president leading the state’s “Pure Michigan” campaign.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp., or MEDC, the state’s marketing arm, said this week that David West will fill the role at the state’s tourism agency, Travel Michigan.
West will be responsible for heading up the state’s tourism branding, advertising and public relations efforts and overseeing the award-winning “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign.
West will join Travel Michigan on Dec. 1.
The state said West is a nationally recognized leader in the tourism industry.
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International has named him one of the “Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing.” He has also received two Destiny Awards from the US Travel Association and numerous awards for social media and marketing campaigns he has led.
West is finishing up his duties as vice president of the Pocono Mountains Visitor Bureau.
The Pocono Mountains are a destination for outdoor adventure and resorts, located 1.5 hours from New York and Philadelphia.
West grew up in East Lansing and attended both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
“I am thrilled to be coming home and having the opportunity to be a part of a team growing the ‘Pure Michigan’ brand,” West said.
Growing "Pure Michigan"
While the “Pure Michigan” campaign has been a huge success for the state’s tourism industry, West and Michael Finney, president and CEO of MEDC, see more room for growth in attracting national and international travelers.
In 2013, overall travel spending in Michigan hit $18.7 billion, with a record $13.8 billion in leisure travel spending. According to Longwoods International, $1.2 billion in out-of-state visitor spending in 2013 was a direct result of the “Pure Michigan” campaign.
“While it’s been a successful campaign to date, there is more we can do to bring visitors, including international visitors, to our world-class cities, outdoor areas and attractions,” West said.
Finney said that West’s “understanding of the economic impact of tourism, combined with his passion for cutting-edge marketing will be a tremendous asset as we continue to build Michigan’s national and international travel profile.”