City ranks as global 'Rising Star' at travel site
A lakeshore city is among 32 global destinations to see at least 500-percent growth in searches at a travel website during the first half of 2015.
FlipKey, a vacation rental marketplace owned by TripAdvisor, published last month a first-time ranking of top vacation rental destinations around the world, “Rising Stars: This Year's 32 Top Trending Vacation Rental Destinations” — and Ludington was the only destination in the state to be included in the ranking.
To make the ranking, a city had to have “at least 500-percent growth from site visitors searching for that destination in the first half of 2015, January to July, versus the same time period in 2014.”
While the ranking reflects an increase in website traffic, it does not reflect an increase in bookings.
“We analyzed thousands of vacation rental destinations and their growth in the first half of 2015, with only a handful reaching 500-percent traffic growth or better,” said Matt Moretti, senior content and media analyst, FlipKey.
“This shows that interest in Ludington as a vacation rental destination is on the rise, with hopefully more tourism to follow.”
Ludington is in the company with several tourism meccas in the ranking: Saint Petersburg, Fla., which saw the largest percentage growth in searches; Boulder, Colo.; Shenandoah Valley; Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas; and even Melbourne, Australia.
Miles of lakeshore
Tourists visiting Ludington have a plethora of outdoor activities to choose from, including enjoying miles of lakeshore along Lake Michigan.
The community also has waterfront parks, lighthouses and family friendly activities to offer travelers.
The “Rising Stars” post says that Ludington’s Stearns Park is the “most popular beach, with free parking, concessions, playground, skate park, mini golf and shuffleboard.”
"Pure Michigan" awareness
Ludington is one of the Michigan communities that has partnered with the successful “Pure Michigan” advertising campaign.
Kathy Maclean, interim executive director for the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said that partnership is helping put Ludington on travelers’ maps.
“We are thrilled about this designation, which confirms that awareness of Ludington as a vacation destination is on the rise,” Maclean said.
Maclean also pointed out that the ranking is just one metric of Ludington’s growing awareness and popularity as a vacation destination.
“In addition to house and condo rentals, we have thriving and successful hotels, B&Bs, lodges and campgrounds that are seeing increased bookings season to season.”