Summer in Holland means relaxing time at the beach, eating out and shopping downtown.
West Michigan residents have the opportunity to take advantage of Holland’s summer every day, but tourists have flocked to Holland in greater numbers this year, to likewise take advantage.
“We are having a very good season in terms of visitors to the area,” said Sally Laukitis, executive director of the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It seems like Holland has really just hit its stride this summer. All of the downtown activities, the beach, the weather. Our tourist occupancy is up 8.2 percent year-to-date through July.”
“We have people who have vacationed here in the past coming back, people looking for a destination wedding, people who heard about us through (the Pure Michigan state tourism campaign), and our sports market has been up because of baseball and softball tournaments and beach volleyball,” she said.
Hope College played a key role, bringing in 15,000 people to summer camps and conferences.
Holland is receiving more international tourists, too. “We have had visitors from 28 foreign countries that have physically walked into our office,” she said. “Just a wide array like Mongolia and Romania, as well as our usual tourists from Germany, France and the Netherlands. It is so nice to hear people excited about the community you live in.”
“We have seen an increase in visitors from the Ohio market,” she said. “Pure Michigan advertising going national is helping a lot. We will be having our own Pure Michigan radio slot, focusing on Holland, narrated by Tim Allen that comes out soon. That will be big, heading to markets like Lansing, Detroit, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne (Ind.).”
“People know the name Holland from the tulip festival,” Laukitis said. “We are fortunate to have that. Holland has received a lot of national recognition the past few years. That continues to resonate with people.
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