EXGR successfully reaches the pre-pandemic meeting and convention
Grand Rapids, Mich. – _Experience Grand Rapids, the area’s official
destination marketing organization, celebrates receiving the _CVB Star
of the Year_ award at the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association’s
Stars of the Industry Awards in Plymouth on Wednesday. The _CVB Star of
the Year_ award recognizes an outstanding convention and visitor bureau
(CVB) within the state of Michigan. EXGR is being honored for its
success in restarting its meeting and convention businesses coming out
of the pandemic and nearly reaching pre-pandemic attendance numbers.
“We are honored to be recognized for the tremendous impact we’ve had
on the Grand Rapids economy,” said EXGR President & CEO, Doug Small.
“As we continue the momentum in tourism growth and establish Grand
Rapids as a leading travel destination, we are proud to have hosted many
successful events, conferences, and conventions for leisure and business.
Meetings and conventions are back and will clearly be a vital part of
Michigan’s post-pandemic recovery.”
The data reveals that, in 2022, the number of attendees for meetings,
sports tournaments and group tours reached 95% of 2019 levels.
Similarly, EXGR has restored 88% of the number of groups convening in
Grand Rapids in 2022 when compared to 2019.
The recovery in hotel room bookings is even stronger thanks to the
combined efforts of the leisure and convention businesses. Through September
In 2022, Kent County saw 6% more demand for hotel rooms compared to 2019,
and 25% more demand than in 2021.
This is thanks, in part, to some large national meetings. This past
summer, for instance, EXGR successfully hosted the U.S. Travel
Association’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations, a leading
national travel industry convention where 900 destination marketing
professionals from state, regional, and local organizations gathered in
Grand Rapids to glean critical information to help them better market
and grow their destinations.
“The fact that we were selected to host one of the largest travel
industry conferences in the country is a testament to EXGR’s and Grand
Rapids’ reputation among travel professionals,” said Small.
EXGR is awaiting final year-end numbers, but confidently projects a
total of 470 individual meetings, sporting events, and group tours will
draw 415,769 attendees in 2022.
About Experience Grand Rapids
Established in 1927, Experience Grand Rapids (EXGR) leads the marketing
of Grand Rapids/Kent County as a premier convention & visitor
destination providing a significant positive impact to the West Michigan
economy. Previously named the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention &
Visitors Bureau, EXGR represents the second largest city in Michigan
with over one million residents.