Gov. Rick Snyder promotes Michigan as travel destination, state's automotive leadership during China investment mission

China Trip

Governor also unveils Michigan’s “Chinese name” to business reporters

Friday, Nov. 18, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder participated in two press conferences on the last full day of his China investment mission, addressing travel and business journalists on tourism and investment opportunities in Michigan and Detroit. Joining Snyder at the press conferences was Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

“We are telling the Pure Michigan story, highlighting the diversity of our state – a state blessed with abundant natural beauty, authentic destinations, unique experiences, and friendly people. In addition, Detroit’s comeback has made the city highly attractive to investors around the world,” Snyder said. “In our conversations with the media here, we are finding they continue to be impressed by Detroit’s revival and all that Michigan has to offer.”

Michigan Travel and Tourism Vice President Dave Lorenz shared with 50 travel reporters how Travel Michigan has worked with tour operators, travel media and other industry partners to raise the profile of Michigan as a vacation destination for Chinese travelers.

“Last year, Michigan had the largest growth of international travelers of any state in the nation with China now the third largest inbound market into Michigan,” Lorenz said. “As we continue to build relationships with China’s travel industry, there is great interest from Chinese travelers in visiting both Michigan’s vibrant urban areas, including Detroit and Grand Rapids, and our vast natural resources.”

At the business press conference, Kevin Kerrigan, senior vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Automotive Office, announced Planet M, Michigan’s campaign to elevate Michigan as the hub of mobility innovations. Planet M includes unique partnerships with the community, private firms and technical colleges all working together to transform Michigan into the global center for mobility.

Snyder also revealed to more than 70 business journalists the results of a Michigan “Chinese name” debate competition that took place between students from leading Chinese universities, including Peking University, Beijing Normal University and Renmin University. At the press conference, a Chinese Academy of Calligraphy leader presented Snyder with Michigan’s new Chinese name.

“Michigan is among the most committed U.S. states to building and maintaining a strong relationship with China. There are currently three Chinese translations for Michigan. We felt it was important to identify the way Michigan should be spelled, to help us better build our brand and awareness among our Chinese partners,” Snyder said. “This name, chosen through a competition among Chinese students, will serve as the one true Chinese spelling of Michigan.”

Later in the day, Snyder met with China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology, MIAO Wei, the top regulator of China’s auto industry, where they discussed the measures China’s government is taking to promote intelligent and connected vehicles in the Chinese market as well as the Planet M campaign.

On Saturday Snyder will travel to Nanchang, where he will celebrate Michigan’s friendships with its sister provinces Sichuan and Guangdong at the Sister City International Conference before returning to Michigan.

The trip marks the Snyder administration’s sixth mission to China. Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have included Japan, South Korea, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile, Columbia, Switzerland, Ireland and Great Britain.

Follow the governor's trip on social media at #InvestInMI. Additional photos are also available here.