Michigan is quite the summer destination. Between canoeing and hiking, wine tasting and charter boat fishing, there are so seemingly endless ways celebrate Pure Michigan all summer long. Tourists from all over the country, and indeed the world, flock here to enjoy a scoop of Superman Ice Cream and our never ending coastlines. With some of the best craft beer in the state, even our small city of Kalamazoo is used to seeing its share of out-of-towners every year. But according to an article from CBS News, the tourism industry in Michigan is going to take a massive hit this year. in the article, Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, says  "Everybody knows this will not be a year to thrive, it'll be a year simply to survive as a business."

Yikes. Not good news for the many Michigan bars and restaurants that make a large percentage of their money in the summer. Now, I have to admit; when summer comes, I tend to avoid the touristy places. I'm lucky enough to live here, and can grab a seat at Bell's or Old Dog any time of the year. But all that changes in 2020.

I know some people don't feel comfortable physically going out yet, but purchasing a gift certificate, getting curbside pick-up, or grabbing a growler to-go are easy ways to help our favorite haunts stay alive and be ready to rebound for next year's tourist season. Take a guided tour of Kalamazoo (it's outside!) or get involved with the scavenger hunt! Get food from a truck you've never been to! Play tourist and learn something about your area! 2020 is a strange year, but if we're in it together, we'll get through it together.

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