Kent County hotels made $139 million in 2013, say tourism officials

Date: January 27, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The tourism industry put up strong numbers in 2013 and travel marketing officials say 2014 looks to be another banner year.

Kent County hotels made $139 million in revenue in 2013, a 9.7 percent increase over the $127 million made in 2012, say area tourism officials.

The overall annual occupancy rate for roughly 7,300 rooms was 63.4 percent last year, an increase of 4.6 percent, according to numbers from Smith Travel Research. The national average for 2013 was 62.3 percent and the Michigan average 57.5.

It all adds up to make 2013 another record-breaking year for tourism in Grand Rapids, which, coupled with the Lakeshore, got a strong endorsement in December from noted travel publisher Lonely Planet as its top choice U.S. destination for 2014.

Last year marks the first time Kent County has beaten the national average on an annual basis, said Doug Small, president of Experience Grand Rapids.

Increased leisure travel stays coupled with strong convention business helped Grand Rapids beat the state and national averages, said Small.

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