Director of Lawrence’s visitors bureau announces pending retirement; nationwide search to begin

photo by: Nick Krug

Michael Davidson, the director of Explore Lawrence, is pictured outside the Lawrence Public Library on Thursday, June 9, 2016.

The director of the city’s visitors bureau has announced his upcoming retirement.

Explore Lawrence Director Michael Davidson will retire in the spring, according to a news release. Davidson ends his career after thirty plus years in leadership roles in the tourism industry, including leading tourism bureaus in Long Island, N.Y. and Walla Walla, Wash. He has led the Lawrence visitors bureau since April 2016.

During his tenure, the visitors bureau’s operating budget increased by about 30%, the organization opened a visitors center on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence, and most recently Davidson helped administer a grants program for hospitality businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Michael Davidson has contributed greatly to economic development through tourism for Lawrence and Douglas County over the last several years,” Mike Logan, president of the Explore Lawrence board, said in a news release. “He is leaving Explore Lawrence in a much better position than when he started.”

Davidson plans to retire to North Carolina with his wife. A nationwide search for the next executive director of Explore Lawrence will begin next month.


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