Updated on April 20, 2024 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Detroit’s unique culture, distinctive architecture, and revitalization and urban renewal efforts in the 21st century have given Detroit increased prominence as a tourist destination in recent years.

Detroit has lived through a huge population loss and a decline in tourist visits, but recently, its historic buildings have been renovated, and its downtown isew events, attractions, and develop brimming with nments.

Here are the city facts, trends, and statistics.

PRE & POST PANDEMIC TRENDS

  • Detroit’s unique culture, distinctive architecture, and revitalization and urban renewal efforts in the 21st century have given Detroit increased prominence as a tourist destination in recent years.
  • Detroit is one of the largest American cities and metropolitan regions to offer casino resort hotels.
  • Detroit has long been known as the “Motor City” because it is historically recognized as the city for mass production of automobiles.
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts is among the largest art museums in the United States and contains over 100 galleries.
  • The museum houses the 1150-seat Detroit Film Theatre, also used to showcase famous collections.
  • About 15.9 million people visit Metro Detroit annually, spending an estimated $4.8 billion.
  • Leading multi-day events throughout Metro Detroit draw crowds of hundreds of thousands to over three million people.
  • Hospitality and tourism industries employed nearly 487,000 in region before the pandemic, 25 percent of the region’s employment
  • About 30% of visitors to Detroit are business-related travel, while conferences and events drive much of the rest of it.
  • There are at least 4,000 hotel rooms in downtown Detroit and 40,000 across the region.
  • The region hit a record 19 million visitors in 2019.
  • Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide book publisher, just named Detroit one of the top 10 global cities to visit in 2018,
  • The city’s Belle Isle Park is among the busiest state parks in the nation. Detroit’s 982-acre island park saw approximately 5.2 million visitors in 2021, not including cyclists and walkers who crossed the bridge from Jefferson Avenue.
  • The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) is the only organization that promotes metro Detroit regionally, nationally, and internationally as a convention, business meeting, and tourism destination.
  • Detroit has one of the world’s busiest air transportation hubs, it offers nonstop flights to 150 destinations in the world.
  • June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Detroit, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.
  • In 2018, Detroit was rated the second-best city in the world to visit.
  • The world-famous Detroit Institute of Arts has a collection of more than 65,000 artworks – one of the largest and most significant in the US – spanning the entire length of civilization.
  • Detroit’s tourism industry saw a decline in visitors due to the pandemic. With sports events canceled and attraction sites closed, Detroit has been dealing with a huge decrease in its profits. It’s unclear how Detroit will be doing in the future.
  • Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Detroit region welcomed 16 million visitors that spent over 7 billion dollars and generated more than 1 billion dollars in state and local tax revenue.
  • Detroit’s tourism industry is integral to the state’s economy, with 39% of the state’s visitor spend and 42% of tax revenue generated in the Detroit region.

MOTIVES AND HABITS

  • Both leisure and business travelers averaged 14 nights when visiting.

OTHER TRENDS

  • 124.8 million visitors traveled to Michigan in 2018, spending $25.7 billion in the state.
  • October through December are the months with the highest number of visitors to the state.
  • Out-of-state travelers account for the majority of leisure travel spending in Michigan.
  • Michigan sees more than one million visitors from Canada in a typical year.
  • Top five nationalities visiting Michigan are Germany, China, the United Kingdom, Japan, and India.
  • Europeans account for most leisure travel to the region.
  • 77% of travelers to MI travel alone and only 10% were accompanied by their spouse/partner.
  • As the world’s traditional automotive center, Detoit city hosts the annual North American International Auto Show in January, a multi-day event.
  • The city’s hospitality industry, with thousands of hotel rooms, routinely hosts major conventions and sporting events.
  • The Marriott corporation and Starwood Hotels (Westin and Sheraton) have a significant presence in the region.
  • Metro Detroit currently has approximately 47,221 hotel rooms across 493 properties. Around 5,000 of these hotel rooms are downtown.
  • In a normal year, Detroit experiences occupancies in the mid-70s; these levels are expected to be reached by 2023.
  • The city’s hospitality industry, with thousands of hotel rooms, routinely hosts major conventions and sporting events. The Marriott corporation and Starwood Hotels (Westin and Sheraton) have a significant presence in the region.
  • Tourism is the fourth largest industry in Michigan.
  • Inflation and staffing challenges are suppressing the Michigan hospitality industry’s recovery from the pandemic.
  • More than 80% of statewide restaurants and hotels don’t have enough employees.
  • Detroit has 3,285,105 sq. ft. of conference and meeting space in downtown Detroit; 4,289,002 sq. ft. of conference and meeting space in metro Detroit.
  • The city hosts several annual music events, including the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Electronic Music Festival, the Motor City Music Conference (MC2), the Urban Organic Music Conference, the Concert of Colors, and the hip-hop Summer Jamz music festival.

REFERENCES

https://s3.amazonaws.com/tourism-economics/craft/Case-Studies-Docs/Michigan-Tourism-Economic-Impact-2018.pdf

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/who_are_michigans_international_air_travelers_and_where_are_they_coming_fro#:~:text=SIAT%20DMA%20also%20measured%20%E2%80%9Cbusiness,percent%20were%20from%20South%20America.

https://visitdetroit.com/new-reimagined-hotels/

https://www.axios.com/local/detroit/2022/05/18/staffing-struggles-hospitality-michigan

https://www.detroitwritingroom.com/2020-summer-journalism-camp-stories/2020/8/24/how-has-covid-19-impacted-the-long-anticipated-revival-of-detroit

https://www.hotels-and-discounts.com/how-many-hotel-rooms-in-downtown-detroit/

https://visitdetroit.com/visit-detroit-hosts-hometown-tourist-day-during-national-travel-tourism-week/

https://medc.app.box.com/s/9teibdmcs0zcyu11yyd197h4zdpadaoq