Baraga County gets results of tourism survey

Tourists who visit Baraga County generally enjoy their time there and are likely to return. That’s the gist of a survey compiled by the Baraga County Chamber of Commerce and the Baraga County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The results were presented at a community meeting last night and were based on 244 questionnaires filled out by people who visited Baraga County in the past 16 months.

The average visitor spends around $600 during their stay. Surprisingly, winter tourists spent more than summer tourists. Most of that money is spent on lodging, with casino gambling claiming the second-largest share.

The study did find some areas that need work. Many visitors said they were unaware of attractions or events in Baraga County and Dr. Jun Min, who headed the study, says that the county should focus on their communication efforts with tourists.

“I feel that the impact will be great. Simply saying ‘we have great indoor activities’ or ‘we have a local event that’s going on’. I think we need to make the systematic effort to let our visitors know about these great things,” said Min, an associate professor in the Michigan Tech University’s College of Business Economics.

The study also showed that many are drawn in by a family or emotional attachment and a significant number cited the county’s trails and outdoor recreational opportunities as an attraction.