ANN ARBOR, MI (December 15, 2017) – The Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau announced key findings of a comprehensive economic impact study measures the 2016 tourism-related benefits in the Washtenaw County economy. This study was completed by Anderson Economic Group (AEG), a Michigan-based research and consulting firm specializing in economics, public policy, business valuation, and industry analyses.

“The impact of tourism in Washtenaw County continues to grow, and we’re thrilled to share these results,” said Mary Kerr, President and CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (AAACVB). “The increase in total visitors and visitor spending speaks to the charm and appeal of our world-class dining, attractions, and events. Additionally, we’re thrilled that employment solely supported by visitor spending has grown to almost 9,000 full-time equivalent jobs in Washtenaw County.”


Compared to benchmarks conducted with 2014 data, the industry experienced growth across all major economic indicators throughout Washtenaw County, including:

  • $1.1 billion in total economic impact, a 26% increase
  • $770 million in “net-new” visitor spending at area businesses, a 28% increase
  • 3.7 million visitors, a 23% increase
  • 8,974 full-time equivalent jobs, a 13% increase
  • $221 million in earnings and wages, an 18% increase


“The study also reaffirms the value of major events — such as Michigan football, the International Champions Cup, and the Ann Arbor Art Fair — while also acknowledging the contributions of community-based events and attractions like Thunder Over Michigan, the Purple Rose Theatre, the Milan Bluegrass Festival, Dexter Cider Mill, the Saline Celtic Festival, and Sharon Mills County Park.” said Kerr.


The analysis only measures the results of net-new visitor spending (spending that would not have been realized if not for visitors) within Washtenaw County. In the 2016 report, Anderson Economic Group updated its methodology, incorporating DK Shifflet data provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). To ensure equivalent comparisons to previous results, Anderson Economic Group provided revised 2014 benchmarks within the report.



The Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501 (c)6 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the economy of the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas, and the county of Washtenaw in general, through promotion of the area as a destination for overnight and day visitors. Follow Visit Ann Arbor and Ypsi Real on social media for more information about attractions and events in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas.


Anderson Economic Group, LLC (AEG) offers research and consulting in economics, finance, market analysis and public policy. Since AEG’s founding in 1996, the company has helped clients including universities, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and private and public companies. AEG has completed economic impact studies for clients located throughout the United States, including several economic impact reports of Michigan’s University Research Corridor.


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