Thank You!

Michigan Cares for Tourism would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who helped make this event a success! Together, more than 50 donor organizations and 300 volunteers successfully completed 24 clean-up and restoration projects at Leelanau State Park / Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Projects included painting the historic lighthouse and surrounding structures, building a brand new playground, making the hiking trails more accessible, and many more. 

Our friends at Traverse City Tourism created this awesome video of our volunteers hard at work at Leelanau State Park and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse.  Thank you Traverse City Tourism for capturing this wonderful day!

Our Mission

Michigan Cares for Tourism is a 100% volunteer, 100% give-back partnership where tourism professionals come together to help restore Michigan’s historic, cultural and natural attractions, learn about a Michigan tourism destination, and network across our industry segments to ultimately enhance the visitor experience, and be more engaged professionals.

Contact Us & Get Connected!

Port Austin post card

Get Ready To Make A Difference At Sleeper & Port Crescent State Parks

Michigan Cares for Tourism is thrilled to announce our 2020 multi-day volunteer event location... we're going to the thumb!

Michigan’s Thumb region covers 150 miles of Lake Huron shoreline, small-town charm, maritime history and much more. Albert E. Sleeper State Park offers both sunrises and sunsets on the bay, a modern campground and trails along the ancient dune forests. Port Crescent State Park is home to three miles of sandy shoreline, a dark sky preserve, a modern campground, trails and much more.

To reserve your spot, text "MC4T" to 76959.

Complete event registration details coming soon.


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#MC4T volunteer, Jane, collected all of the face masks & safety glasses from our supply trailer, and donated them to @SpectrumHealth yesterday. THANK YOU, Jane, for coordinating this donation, and THANK YOU to our frontline workers for all you do! #COVID19 #PureMichigan #StaySafe

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10 fun things to do when homebound frustration sets in (aka avoiding coronavirus/COVID-19)

By Patty Janes, Ph.D.

In 55 years of life, the only experience that remotely prepares me for what is happening with the Coronavirus pandemic was two months of bed rest during a difficult pregnancy. I was unable to support those I was used to caring for and scared something bad would happen to my beautiful baby. Doctor’s orders were to stay put, lay on my left side, and do everything I could to keep us both safe.  Day one was survivable, day two was not.

Communities around the world are facing this test, magnified on an incomprehensible scale.

While COVID-19 is affecting the world in more complex ways than I experienced those eight weeks, I feel a similar concern today.

As I sit at home, preparing to teach university students online, I’m reflecting on how my bed rest became a gift. I kept both my daughter and myself safe by doing what I was supposed to. Twenty-two years later she is about to graduate from the University of Michigan and we are facing a different kind of bed rest.

We all need to do our part to keep people safe. While I worry about small business surviving, families staying afloat financially with reduced hours, etc. I try my best to do what I did many years ago: to not be all consumed by the negative, and control what I could, doing my part to keep us safe.  I had to do what was needed, and then I had to reframe

What can you do to reframe? 

Think of all the things we can do during this time to safely care for others (e.g. a neighbor in need). Think of all the things we always want to do but never find the time (e.g. clean out closets or the garage). Then, think of all the things we can do to have unique fun. Finding ways to enhance your life during this stressful time will be vital.  American’s spend so much time on the television (US Bureau of Labor Statistics states near 3 hours – ½ of available leisure time), don’t let that get the best of you.

So many organizations have released ways to stay connected remotely, and many are mentioned in my top ten list below.  We’ve put this on the fridge to find new things to explore and stay connected.

Play. Board games at home or tech games with others. Keep being social. We broke out Clue last night (thanks USA Today article), and set the goal to play everything in the game cabinet at least once.  Our other family favorites Telestrations or Jackbox.TV!

Learn. To knit, draw (Michigan native Butch Hartman created Fairly Odd Parents and he teaches you how to draw Danny Phantom HERE), paint, or play an instrument etc. Thanks to outlets like YouTube, we can learn so many things from home.  There are a number of sites providing FREE ways for children to learn including Netflix sources, education companies, and Grand Valley State University’s Charter School office sharing resources. 

Drive. Take a day road trip around Pure Michigan  and sight see. Pack a picnic or go through drive-thrus along the way. Take advantage of gas prices under $2/gallon. Pick any Lake MI lakeshore - no one is more than two hours from these natural beauties. Trip Advisor’s top beaches in Michigan.

Plan. Your next vacation. You will need a break after this experience and whether a staycation or travel more than 100 miles from home. Have kids and adults alike investigate great things to do, see, learn, etc.

Tour. Take a look of interesting museums or dairy farms.  So many great organizations are pulling together FREE ways to explore from home including NASA.

Face time or Skype. People you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Research indicates staying connected with families and friends is so important.  If you don’t believe it, here are 82M posts in Google about it. 

Walk /Exercise. Get fresh air and open windows, walk around the house. If your environment allows, walk outside, in the neighborhood, on a trail, in a yard. 6’ of distance is easier outdoors and fresh air is healing.  Organizations from Planet Fitness to Lulu Lemon are providing FREE ways to get exercise at home (e.g. yoga). 

Cook. Try a new recipe with food items on a back shelf or in the bottom of the freezer. Share items with neighbors to try something new and help each other. Create a communal living environment where everyone helps with meals. It’s social. It’s helpful. And, someone learns something new. Guaranteed. Thanks to my InstaPot, I didn’t ruin the corned beef on St. Patty’s Day for the first time!

Meditate. Download an app to start or end your day in peaceful, contemplative thought. It works. Great FREE App: WakingUp

Live. Don’t let this situation keep you from learning, growing, and building relationships. Life doesn’t stop, use free conference calling services to have regular large family chats, club or hobby meetings, or continue your volunteer work. Keep moving forward. We need each other more than ever.

Which of these will you do or have you done? What would you add to the list?


Rita Cooper
March 24, 2020

Circle Michigan

   By Olivia Rau

Organized in 1981, Circle Michigan pioneered the very first organization in the country focusing on the promotion of group travel. Since then, numerous other states have followed their leadCircle Michigan is dedicated exclusively to helping professional tour planners and Circle Michigan member suppliers meet the challenges unique to the group travel industry.

During the late 1990s, Circle Michigan lost two members to death from car accidents: Katherine Schmidt in 1997, who was with the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Scott Brazil in 1998, who was with Kewadin Casino of Sault Ste. Marie. Money in the form of memorials was given in their honor, which was placed into a Michigan scholarship held by the National Tour Association (NTA), located in Lexington, Kentucky. Over the next 15 years, the fund grew to over $20,000.00. NTA no longer desired to retain the monies it was holding so turned the funds over to Circle Michigan. With this, the Circle Michigan Foundation was formed on March 23, 2012.

Circle Michigan members volunteer their time to serve on the Circle Michigan Foundation to oversee two programs (listed below) and plan fundraisers. 

  • Circle Michigan Scholarship. The Circle Michigan Foundation awards an annual college scholarship to a student attending a Michigan higher education institution, who is enrolled in a Hospitality and Tourism program. Full or part-time students may apply.  Since 2013, the Circle Michigan Foundation has awarded $3,500 in scholarships.
  • Circle Michigan Field Trip Transportation Grant. The Circle Michigan Foundation also awards a transportation grant to any K through 12 educational institution within the State of Michigan. This grant is to be used for transportation for field trips. Any attraction being visited by the school group must be a Circle Michigan member attraction. Since 2013, the Circle Michigan Foundation has awarded 20 Michigan schools Field Trip Transportation Grants totaling $4,253.

One of the 2018 Field Trip Transportation Grant recipients was CLK Elementary in Calumet. With the grant, 92 second grade students visited Fort Wilkins State Park as second grade social studies curriculum focuses on the local community. On this trip, the students learned why Fort Wilkins was built and what it was like to live there. Joan Darnell, second grade teacher at CLK Elementary, reported “the second graders learn and remember a lot better by actually being able to be at Fort Wilkins. As the school year continues, there are many times I am reading a book, showing a picture, or discussing our area’s history and now I am able to bring up something we saw on our trip to Fort Wilkins.”


  • This year’s Field Trip Transportation Grant Application period is April 1 – June 20.
  • Since 2013, the Circle Michigan Foundation has awarded field trip transportation grants to 20 Michigan schools.
March 10, 2020

Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau

    By Aubrey Sochacki

Lansing is often known for being the capital of Michigan, the home of the Spartans, and a growing community. The city strives to be supportive of all members of the community, including local businesses and those who call the city home.

The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) encourages each of their staff members to serve on local boards and committees. Through this encouragement, they have made it possible for CVB members to work with these boards and committees to organize local events. One of the events that many staff members help with is planting flowers on the capital lawn each year. This event brings the community together and helps promote Lansing as a tourist destination.

One of the major initiatives that the Greater Lansing CVB is working on is promoting attractions with sensory activities for individuals with disabilities. At these sensory attractions, the CVB provides each volunteer with training to help them provide better services for individuals with disabilities. Each attraction has a CVB staff member that works directly with it, in order to best serve the community. 

Another part of this initiative is Lansing’s annual event, “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town.” This event started 25 years ago and has created a way for community members to interact with over 100 attractions. This event “opens” the community each year and encourages Lansing citizens and others to visit the area and support the state’s capital.

Lansing is not just the home of Michigan’s government; it is also home to an inclusive community.

March 10, 2020

Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau

     By Aubrey Sochacki

A couple of years ago, the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) created an engagement committee to better equip themselves to be involved in the local communities they serve. Within this committee is the volunteer committee.

The volunteer committee has created endless opportunities for the Detroit Metro CVB staff members to participate in. Through the committee, the CVB has been able to give each staff member volunteer time off up to eight hours per year to volunteer.

A few of the volunteerism activities that the Detroit Metro CVB participates in are collecting mittens for Detroit, a cereal drive, a collection drive for school supplies, and donating food to those in need for Thanksgiving. This past year, the Detroit Metro CVB collected over 300 pairs of gloves and mittens for the Detroit area. This drive was done internally with members and clients of the CVB. The CVB also partners with local charities to provide food and other needs to those in the community.

The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau is not just focused on bringing tourists to the area, but also on caring for those who call the community home.

March 10, 2020

Our Founding Partners: