What is Ann Arbor known for in the tourism industry? - mlive.com

What is Ann Arbor known for in the tourism industry?


Zingerman's, located in a brick building on a cobblestone street, opened in Ann Arbor 32 years ago.

(The Ann Arbor News file photo)

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The University of Michigan and a popular Ann Arbor deli are among the top things the Ann Arbor area is known for in the tourism industry.

An online survey conducted by Equation Research and the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (AAACVB) highlighted the top things Ann Arbor is known for and the city’s most attractive attributes.

Krag Frerenz, of Equation Research, presented the results of the survey Wednesday morning at the AAACVB’s 2014 annual meeting, held at the Holiday Inn Near the University of Michigan on Plymouth Road.

Here are the top things Ann Arbor is known for in the tourism industry, according to the survey responses:

University of Michigan: Ann Arbor's reputation as a tourism destination is closely tied with the University of Michigan. Nearly half of survey respondents who have visited Ann Arbor in the past have some sort of relationship with the university, Frerenz said.

About 20 percent of those respondents said they visit Ann Arbor because they are fans of U-M sports, about 10 percent are parents of U-M students and about 8 percent are U-M alumni.

Fairgoers wander the 2012 South University Art Fair.

“This is definitely something that’s drawing people in or giving them an association with the area,” Frerenz said.

Ann Arbor Art Fair: Approaching its 55th year, the Ann Arbor Art Fair draws about 500,000 people to downtown Ann Arbor for a four-day, juried art festival that showcases work by more than 1,000 artists.

The survey shows the most visitors come to Ann Arbor in July than any other time of year.

Restaurants: Ann Arbor has been in the national spotlight for its thriving dining scene, which includes a mix of unique and independent restaurants. Downtown Ann Arbor's South Main Street, stretching from William to Huron, has 21 restaurants that range from all-vegetarian Jazzy Veggie to a high-end steakhouse, and everything in between.

Health facilities: About 25 percent of survey respondents mentioned the "world class medical facilities" in the Ann Arbor area. In 2013, U.S. News & World Report rankings named the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers as offering the best hospital care in the state for the second year in a row. St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital was named the ninth-best hospital in metro Detroit for patient care.

The exterior of the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Zingerman's Deli: The 32-year-old deli on Ann Arbor's Detroit Street was mentioned by about 25 percent of survey respondents as something the city is known for in the tourism industry.

Here are some of Ann Arbor’s top attractive attributes mentioned by survey respondents:

Survey respondents who visited Ann Arbor in the past said safety, scenic beauty, good restaurants, friendliness and the University of Michigan are the top attributes that attracted them to the area.

Nearly all of past visitors said Ann Arbor is a safe and friendly town.

More than 90 percent of respondents said Ann Arbor is entertaining and a good value for the money.

About 90 percent of people said Ann Arbor is a good place to take children.

About 80 percent of respondents said Ann Arbor is a year-round travel destination.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for The Ann Arbor News. Reach her at 734-623-2584, email her lizzyalfs@mlive.com or follow her on Twitter.