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EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS WANTS YOUR BEST SHOT, National Travel & Tourism Week to kick off with Instagram contest, Grand Rapids to celebrate National Rally Day with a “PhotoWalk”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kate Wiltzer, Experience Grand Rapids
616.233.3558 / KWiltzer@ExperienceGR.com
EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS WANTS YOUR BEST SHOT
National Travel & Tourism Week to kick off with Instagram contest;
Grand Rapids to celebrate National Rally Day with a "PhotoWalk"
(GRAND RAPIDS, MI - April 18, 2012) - Experience Grand Rapids will celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week, May 5-13, 2012, with a community-wide Instagram photo contest that will award a grand prize package to the winner who best captures the city's beauty, excitement and local flavor in a single image.
"Grand Rapids is a picturesque and vibrant city fueled by community pride for all that the area has to offer. This contest is a perfect way to showcase Grand Rapids and celebrate the importance of our travel and tourism industry," said Doug Small, president of Experience Grand Rapids.
To help inspire award-winning pictures and recognize National Rally Day, Experience Grand Rapids will host a downtown "PhotoWalk" on Tuesday, May 8 from noon to 1 p.m. beginning at Rosa Parks Circle. The route will include stops at "La Grande Vitesse" (The Calder), "Motu Viget" (the tire swing), Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum reflecting pool and fountain, and the 100-year-old Blue Bridge. Each stop will feature a special photo opportunity.
To enter the photo contest, participants must include the #ExperienceGR hashtag in their Instagram photo caption. Entries will be accepted May 8-13. Selected by Experience Grand Rapids officials, beginning May 14 the top 10 finalists will compete in a public online vote. Limited to one vote per person, the public may cast their votes at www.experiencegr.com/travelweek/. Contest terms and conditions are available on this web page. Experience Grand Rapids will also feature all photo entries on its Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ExperienceGR. The winner will be announced May 21.
The winner will receive the following prize package valued at nearly $300:
In partnership with Experience Grand Rapids, SpringHill Suites Grand Rapids North, 450 Center Drive NW, will host an ArtNight on Wednesday, May 23 from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring the contest's entries and finalists. The private event will include a digital showcase of the images throughout the hotel, entertainment and hors d'oeuvres.
The travel and tourism industry has become an increasingly important economic driver for Kent County, with visitor spending exceeding one billion in 2010 and a hospitality industry workforce topping 24,000 employees. According to Smith Travel Research, last year, area hotels experienced double digit growth in revenue, earning $114.4 million. Hotel occupancy also outpaced national and state growth averages with an increase of nearly 7%.
"This industry is vital to our local economy and quality of life," said Small. "Kent County has maintained remarkable momentum over the past three years as it experiences continued growth in hotel performance, occupancy, and room revenue as well as record attendance at area attractions."
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