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Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

Council Perspectives | Marketing and Tourism News | Industry Relations | Grant News
Conference Update | Wisconsin in the News | Travel Green Wisconsin

  Secretary Message

Hello Friends,

We've been thinking a lot about customer service at the Tourism Department this past year – both in how we serve you, our "industry customers," and how our travelers are served when they vacation here.

Great customer service was behind our efforts to reopen the busy Beloit Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center last year. And let's face it, if we're not providing memorable customer service at all points of the visitor's experience, then our travelers might not return.

We have lined up several keynote speakers to address this very topic at WIGCOT next month. On Monday, Peter Shankman will discuss how in this digital era of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, customer service is where all marketing and public relations begin. Tuesday's keynote speaker Bob Brown takes his experience working with some of the biggest names in the hospitality and restaurant industries to present his tried–and–true vision for dazzling service that will win your business lifelong customers.

I am very excited about this next piece of news. It's my pleasure to announce that the Department is launching a Customer Service Training program – free for our industry partners. Our Regional Tourism Specialists are taking this interactive program on the road to the frontlines where the tourism experience happens. Keep reading for information on how to schedule a training session in your area or stop by the Tourism booth at the WIGCOT Marketplace to learn more.

One last note on customer service. We will recognize five exceptional nominees for this year's "Governor's Tourism Award for Service Excellence" at the Governor's Dinner, Tuesday night of the conference. I know that these five will inspire you to create winning guest service in your own destination or business.

See you at what promises to be a fun and informative conference!

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Lola Roeh   
Governor's Council on Tourism   

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Council Perspectives

With spring just around the corner, our thoughts turn to the season before us and naturally, the planning that goes with it. If you are looking for ideas to add some great marketing strategies to your business, register for the Governor's Conference on Tourism next month and learn from some of the best experts in the country. The power-packed agenda includes many tools to help you make the best business decisions possible, with subjects ranging from social media and customer service to economic forecasts for our industry and the key issues that will affect all of us. This annual event offers important value for all attendees ---not to mention a great opportunity to reconnect with industry friends and partners.

And if you want to see the Council in action firsthand, join us for the Governor's Council Meeting on Sunday from 3:00-5:00 p.m. We have a full agenda for the meeting and we'll be moving at light speed to finish in just two hours. There is a lot to discuss, new programs and ideas to present and a look at accomplishments over the past year. There is a lot to be proud of.

Lastly, this year's Conference promises to be true to our brand, FUN! So I look forward to seeing you there, learning, sharing and having some fun together!

Best, Lola

March 4, 2012 at the Governor's Conference on Tourism
April 26, 2012
July 26, 2012
October 18, 2012




Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

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Conference & Education

WIGCOT: Just Two Weeks Away
Click here to view a personal invitation from Governor Walker to join him at this year's Tourism Conference. There is still plenty of time to register and many good reasons you don't want to miss our industry's biggest event of the year. In addition to keynote speakers Peter Shankman and Bob Brown, globe-trotting journalist Peter Greenberg is the featured opening speaker on Tuesday. Miss America Laura Kaeppeler is making one of her first Wisconsin appearances on Monday and a Packer player will be joining us at Marketplace. At the Governor's Dinner, 28 Governor's Tourism Awards nominees will be recognized.
Register now at


Sarah Klavas    
Industry Relations & Services Director   
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Industry Services

NEW! Customer Service Training for Your Tourism Experience
Wisconsin has many examples of unforgettable travel experiences that bring travelers back year after year. But without someone to provide first class customer service at all points of the travel experience – whether taking a reservation over the phone or a dinner order at a restaurant – those travelers won't be back. It's exceptional customer service that breathes fun into every Wisconsin vacation experience. With this in mind, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is launching Customer Service Training for the tourism industry. Contact your Regional Tourism Specialists to find out more and book your free training.

Economic Impact Research Available for Tourism Week
There are big changes on the horizon in regards to our economic impact research, which is now provided by Tourism Economics. We are excited to share with our industry the detailed and precise information this report provides.

Note that this year's research will be made available to the tourism industry on or about April 30. Industry partners are required to embargo the Department's research for release to the media until Sunday, May 4. The new research uses a different economic impact model, one that does not allow for revisions. This means that counties and destination will not have an opportunity to request revisions and adjustments prior to release.

We look forward to having Adam Sacks, President of Tourism Economics, as a presenter at this year's conference. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the new research, please contact Sarah Klavas at 608-266-3750 or your Regional Tourism Specialist.

Good News from U.S. Travel
Read the latest issue of the "Research and Trends Report," U.S. Travel's newsletter covering industry trends, the economy and consumer confidence. According to the report, consumer confidence is still uncertain but travel forecasts for 2012 are generally being revised upwards.


Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
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Marketing Update  

Summer Campaign Preview at WIGCOT
It's back – our marketing showcase. At Monday's lunch during the Governor's Conference on Tourism get a sneak peek at our summer 2012 marketing initiatives.

Mark the Date for 2012 National Tourism Week
National Tourism Week, our annual salute to tourism's impact on the state and nation, is May 5 – 13. The Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary Klett, Deputy Fantle and the industry services team will be traveling the state this week to spread the word about tourism, the jobs it supports and the positive image it lends our state. The Department will release its annual research study showing how travel spending makes its way through the economy in the form of jobs and tax revenue for Wisconsin.
If you are looking for a speaker, contact Jeri Krohn at 608-266-2345.

Director Cut Airs on 450 Marcus Theaters Screens this Month
Be sure to check out David Zucker's "director's cut". It runs almost one-minute and offers additional slapstick, including the participation of audience members. Marcus Theaters donated screen time in three states to run the longer spot.

Welcome Shane Brossard to Tourism
The Department just welcomed Shane Brossard to our ranks as the new Web and Interactive Project Manager. He was most recently with Neesvigs, as a marketing coordinator.
Reach Shane at 608-266-2147 or look him up at the Tourism Conference next month.

LInk to Metrics

Shelly Allness   
Program Manger & Liaision   
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Travel Green Wisconsin

Travel Green Logo Travel Green Wisconsin at WIGCOT
Planning to attend WIGCOT? We are offering two ways to learn more about Travel Green Wisconsin:
  1. Visit the TGW booth at Marketplace. Meet members of the TGW Council Sub-committee to learn about program enhancements and how to become certified. The reduced fee structure and stronger marketing are gaining attention, and this is a great way to learn how you can tap into this growing market.
  2. Attend Tuesday's Breakout Session. On Tuesday, March 6 attend "Resources for Becoming a Sustainable Business" .Participants will learn about new tools and other successful business accomplishments in the sustainability arena.
Travel Green Wisconsin Banner Ads Launch This Spring
Online banner ads are launching again this April! That's right, the online banner ads we ran last fall were a great success – driving consumers to our TGW web page to learn about the program and who is certified. Just one more way we're marketing your participation in TGW.

Membership Survey Complete, Report in Progress
The TGW Membership Survey is complete and a full report is underway. Thank you to all of our members who took the time to participate in this important survey. From this we are able to determine areas where we are doing well and areas that you would like to see us improve. The final report will be shared with the TGW Council Sub–committee and then used to further our work.

New Travel Green Wisconsin Members
Days Inn, Wisconsin Dells
Governor Nelson State Park, Waunakee
Hotel Metro, Milwaukee
Kinnickinnic State Park, River Falls
Military Ridge State Trail, Blue Mounds
Point Beach State Forest, Two Rivers
Roche-A-Cri State Park, Friendship
Superior Horizons, Bayfield
Tower Hill State Park, Spring Green


George Tzougros   
Executive Director   
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Arts Board

Wisconsin Arts Board 2012 Wisconsin Art and Craft Fairs Directory
The 2012 Wisconsin Art and Craft Fairs Directory is now available online. The Directory is a 64 page, month-to-month guide to nearly 200 art and craft fairs held throughout Wisconsin. It helps fair enthusiasts mark the dates for their favorite fairs and discover new ones that they might like to attend.
The print version of the 2012 Wisconsin Art and Craft Fairs Directory will be available in a couple of weeks. To have a print copy mailed to you, please call the Department of Tourism at 1-800-432-TRIP (8747). For information on how to ensure your fair is listed in next year's edition of the Wisconsin Art and Craft Fairs Directory, please click here.

Creative Communities Grants Program
The Creative Communities Grants Program encourages arts education and community development through the arts in Wisconsin. It provides support for arts projects that further the Arts Board's goals in the following three areas: Arts Education, Folk and Traditional Arts, and Local Arts. The applicant must be a nonprofit organization (501 (c) 3) to apply, but does not have to be an arts organization. To learn more about the Creative Communities Program, please click here.

Calling All Film Makers – Take Advantage of the Wisconsin Film Tax Credit
The Wisconsin Film Tax Credit program has funds available in the current fiscal year to earn tax credit towards film, video and gaming productions based in Wisconsin. Learn more and apply hereOr contact Shelly Allness at 608-261-8767 for more information.

Lisa Marshall   
Communications Director    
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Wisconsin in the News  

The Final Count is In!
Wisconsin Arts Board The Great Lakes Mitten Campaign has wrapped up and the final count has been tallied. Thanks to our incredible residents and travelers, 3,109 mittens and other warm winter items were collected and donated to over 50 charities! There were many touching stories about people going out of their way to help with the campaign. Many mittens were hand-knit and came from as far away as Virginia and Maryland. A HUGE thank you goes to all who helped with the campaign!

In the News This Month
Danielle and Lisa talked up winter getaways and February romance on TV interviews in Madison, Milwaukee and Eau Claire during the last few weeks. Notable print coverage now posted in the media room includes:
  • American Profile "The Big Cheese, Wisconsin Family Produces Giant Cheddar Wheel"
  • Journal-Sentinel "Couples Don't Have to Travel Far for Romance"
  • Midwest Flyer Magazine "Bayfield, Where You Land Depends on What You Want to Do"

Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
Top of the page
Grant News

Grant Tip of the Month
There's only one JEM review date left this fiscal year and it is April 1. Please remember that we no longer review JEM grants in May. This means that if you're applying yet this fiscal year, be sure to have all materials to Abbie by April 1. All JEM categories will be reviewed at this time, not just Destination Marketing, so get your applications in!

15 Tourism Information Center Grants Awarded
Grant recipients include centers in Appleton/Fox Cities, Beloit, Green Lake, Hurley, Kenosha, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Monroe, Platteville, Prairie du Chien, Racine, Spooner, St Croix Falls/Polk County, Stevens Point, Superior/Douglas Co.
Joint Effort Marketing – April 1
Destination Marketing – April 1
Meetings Mean Business – April 1
Ready, Set, Go! – May 1
Tourist Information Center – July 1


Harnessing the power of tourism to build a better Wisconsin.
See how on:
  Wisconsin Department of Tourism
201 W Washington Ave Madison, WI 53703
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