Pure Michigan Welcomes International Travelers to Detroit

News Releases
Jan 11

LANSING – If a photo is worth a thousand words, a newly installed Pure Michigan photo experience at the International Arrivals Hall of McNamara Terminal and in the North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) will speak volumes to the nearly 1.5 million international travelers that pass through the airport’s federal inspection services facilities each year.

The campaign is one of the first of its kind in the United States and is the result of a collaboration between Travel Michigan, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the Airlines and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It has been launched to coincide with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, kicking off January 11. International visitors, including media from approximately 60 countries, attending at this year’s show will be some of the first travelers to be greeted by the Michigan imagery.

“Detroit truly serves as the gateway to Michigan for the vast majority of our international visitors,” said Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “From the moment people step off that plane, we want them to feel welcome in Michigan, to be excited about arriving in America’s Great Comeback City and to be inspired by the leisure travel opportunities our state has to offer. We appreciate the hard work of everyone involved to bring this experience to life.”

The airport branding builds on Michigan’s increased efforts in recent years to attract international leisure travelers to the state. Artwork, as large as 12 feet high and 61 feet long, featuring images of Detroit cultural landmarks and the state’s natural beauty can be found at the European and Asian arrival gates and the baggage claim area in customs.

Native language videos featuring Detroit will also play on video monitors located throughout the customs area in the near future. As flights arrive, the videos will be served up in the most appropriate language, including English, German and Mandarin. Pure Michigan ads will also play on the monitors.

“Detroit Metropolitan Airport is often the first and last impression many visitors to our region take back home,” said Airport Authority CEO Thomas Naughton. “Working together with our partners at Pure Michigan and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, our arriving international travelers are now greeted with beautiful images of our state’s iconic landscapes, natural areas and culture – what better way to say: ‘Welcome to Michigan.’”

Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s Travel and Tourism Committee is comprised of international travel and tourism stakeholders. This committee developed and implemented a travel and tourism action plan to deliver the highest caliber of customer service to encourage additional growth. This initiative supports the National Travel and Tourism Strategy and the DTW Travel and Tourism efforts are focused on the state of Michigan.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the Federal agency responsible for processing international travelers who arrive at our nation’s ports of entry and we are committed to improving the traveler experience upon their arrival into Detroit,” said Marty Raybon, Acting Director of Field Operations, Detroit. “Collaborative efforts with Pure Michigan and the Airport Authority to increase tourism and foster economic growth have been a phenomenal success.”

In addition to showcasing all four seasons, featured images include the Detroit skyline and riverfront, The Henry Ford, Marquette, Ludington, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Porcupine Mountain State Park, Turnip Rock in Port Austin, Les Cheneaux Islands and Lake Superior. The photo experience will remain in place indefinitely.

“We are fortunate to be in a state that offers visitors diverse urban experiences, as well as woods and water activities, just minutes away from each other,” said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. “International arriving guests will see why Detroit has been dubbed as one of the top places to visit in the upcoming year. We know that our international travelers will get a positive first impression and a true reflection of what their Pure Michigan visit will be through this amazing photo experience.”

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org.


Renee Monforton
Brian Lassaline
Erica Donerson
Vice President, Communications and External Affairs
Wayne County Airport Authority
Lisa Gass
Media Relations Manager
Wayne County Airport Authority