GVSU measuring economic impact of Grand Haven visitors

Photo credit: GHACVB/M. Cisneros
Photo credit: GHACVB/M. Cisneros

Faculty and students from three Grand Valley departments are working with Grand Haven city officials to research the economic impact that tourists have on the area.

Students and faculty members from Grand Valley's Seidman College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Management Department and Statistics Department created a survey and will analyze data collected from tourists. 

"This is truly an interdisciplinary project with collaboration from several people and departments from both Grand Valley and Grand Haven," said Linda Chamberlain, of Grand Valley's Technology Commercialization Office who is providing project management services. 

Students are collecting visitor data from several locations around Grand Haven including the beach, boardwalk, pier and downtown area. The survey began in May and will run through September.

Patty Janes, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management, said it is exciting to gather and share data using various talents at Grand Valley. "Our role is to help understand the tourists coming to Grand Haven — their behaviors and what they plan to do while they are visiting," she said.

Christian Glupker, clinical professor of economics, said students will help measure the economic impact of visitors. "We are working to identify visitors, what brought them to the area and how much money they plan to spend," he said.

Chamberlain said a final report will be submitted to Grand Haven officials by the end of the year.


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