ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – As the first day of fall approaches, Visit Escanaba is reflecting on a bustling summer of tourism.
According to Visit Escanaba CEO Robert Micheau, summer 2023 was another successful season in Delta County. He says the tourism industry has been growing significantly for several years.
“About $12 million a year more is coming in now versus six years ago annually,” said Micheau. “Especially since people have been able to get back to traveling, tourism has been thriving in the U.P. in general, and especially in Delta County.”
A new addition this year was American Queen Voyages. A steady stream of cruise ships has carried tourists from around the country and the globe to Escanaba. American Queen Voyages will continue to stop in Little Bay de Noc through October 2.
“We had new people that were able to visit our area and tour the downtown,” Micheau said. “We hope that they continue to come back and visit our area every year.”
The U.P. State Fairgrounds may be quiet at the moment, but it was a completely different story throughout the entire summer.
“The Steam and Gas Engine Show, we had the Logging Congress, the National Trappers Convention was here,” said Micheau. “It really has been amazing, the amount of people and events that have come to the fairgrounds, and it’s exciting to see where it’s going to go. It’s just going to continue to grow.”
The fairgrounds also hosted the inaugural Northern Lights Music Festival in July. The two-day event featured acts like Sebastian Bach, Pop Evil, and headliner Keith Urban.
“Over 12,000 people attended that event,” said Micheau. “Very positive response, just tons of energy on the fairgrounds.”
Of course, the U.P. State Fair was the main event of the season. The 95th annual fair drew more than 100,000 visitors from each corner of the Upper Peninsula.
“It’s a U.P. event and there’s members on the board from every county,” explained Micheau. “It’s a great celebration of the Upper Peninsula that we get to host here in Delta County.”
In years to come, Micheau expects summer tourism to continue to flourish. In addition to major events, he credits the area’s abundance of natural resources with consistently bringing in new and returning tourists.
“By far, what people here come to see and enjoy is Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, all of the woods and water that we have, and trails,” Micheau said. “That continues to be the largest driver of tourism in the Upper Peninsula.”
To learn more about Visit Escanaba, click here.