As a new series of promotional ads and graphics promoting "Pure Michigan" is set to begin, you have to ask yourself, could the timing be any worse?

The purpose of this is not to point fingers, but rather, to point out what a tricky slope this is to navigate. A big portion of Michigan relies on tourism income. And yet, Michigan has seen a major spike in Covid infections in the past several weeks. Some of that spike is due in part to people traveling and either infecting others or getting infected themselves with the coronavirus. But in a competitive marketplace, a tourism based economy needs...tourists.

The guess here is, officials had their fingers crossed as vaccines began to be administered, that we might see infection rates go down significantly. Unfortunately, even as a fair amount of Michiganders have gotten vaccinated, just the opposite has happened, and with a new strain making this even more complicated.

“With warm weather on the horizon, I encourage travelers to take proper precautions while safely enjoying Michigan’s great outdoors and visiting destinations across the state,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “We must all do our part to keep ourselves and our families safe, and I encourage all travelers to continue following basic public health protocols and get vaccinated as we support Michigan’s tourism and hospitality businesses and enjoy all that Pure Michigan has to offer.” - Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in a MEDC release)

The good news is any positive impressions of Michigan are a good thing, and you would think most potential visitors are intelligent enough to be able to separate the state from the situation.

The ads themselves again feature actor Tim Allen. At least five have been produced so far. In addition to television, the ads will run on social media, online, and there's a billboard campaign, too

(Pure Michigan via YouTube)

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