Michigan State University researchers say the state's tourism industry should continue to rebound this year, reflecting Michigan's slow rise from a painful recession.
A forecast being released Monday at the Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism in Kalamazoo predicts a 4 percent increase in tourism spending and a 3 percent rise in tourism volume and prices.
Michigan State tourism analyst Dan McCole says 2010 showed the first signs of recovery. The expectation for 2011 is continued growth at a higher but still moderate rate.
McCole cautions the trends don't mean a return to high spending and visitor levels seen before the recession.
Total tourism spending was $15 billion in 2009 -- the most recent statistics available. That's down from $18.7 billion in 2007.