DETROIT, MI (AP)-- Researchers are predicting that tourists will pump more money into the Michigan economy this year.
Michigan State University experts Sarah Nicholls and Dan McCole released their annual tourism forecast Tuesday during an industry conference in Detroit. They say tourist spending should rise 5.5 percent in 2013 after a 6 percent increase last year.
They also say the number of tourists traveling to and around the state will rise about 3 percent.
Although the economy remains sluggish, Nicholls and McCole say people who travel the most are doing well and continue to make vacations a priority.
Their analysis says Michigan's reputation for producing high-quality local foods, wines and beer is helping at a time when travelers are increasingly interested in food-and beverage-based tourism.