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Greetings from Team Tourism,
The summer travel season is picking up steam and we are putting extra energy into reaching our out-of-state neighbors. Just last week, I had the opportunity to be a guest on the Fox Chicago morning show to talk about what's new in summer travel. The interview was a big hit and we'll be back on in the fall to talk about fall color, scenic drives and more. Check out this month's "Wisconsin in the News" section to see a recap of all of our morning TV appearances.
You'll also want to take a minute to read the article "Fight for Fun" in this month's issue of Twin Cities Business. Deputy Dave and staff at Laughlin-Constable were interviewed extensively for this article on the three-way competition between South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin for vacationers. You can tell by the word "fun" in the article's title which state is definitely ahead in the Midwest ad wars! Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist John Rash also gives Wisconsin tourism ads thumbs up for their effectiveness.
On an entirely different note, I encourage everyone to start thinking ahead to the future and how they can engage with their local legislators. It's on our radar at the Department as Deputy Dave and I will be making the rounds at the Capitol, knocking on the doors of legislators, as we begin steps towards preparing the next biennium budget. It may seem like a long-way off but a new session starts this winter and now is the time to lay the groundwork for legislation that will benefit tourism and drive the economy.
Enjoy the summer and best wishes during the busy travel season!
Governor's Council on Tourism
Dear Tourism Partners,
Summer is upon us and, hopefully, we are all feeling the robust response of guests ready to take a summer vacation in Wisconsin!
Our last Council Meeting was in Madison on May 17th, where we had the pleasure of introducing three new Council members: Aimee Juan, Director of Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW), Pete Helland, Vice President and co-owner of the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort in Wisconsin Dells, and Cindy Burzinski, Director of Vilas County Tourism & Publicity. We are so pleased to have these talented industry partners join the Council, bringing their diverse and valuable experiences to the table. Welcome Aimee, Pete and Cindy!
The Council Marketing Committee met on May 24th with a power-packed agenda including a review of the summer 2012 campaign, Longwoods research showing the positive impact of all marketing efforts, and preliminary concepts for summer 2013. Exciting stuff! Wisconsin Department of Tourism marketing is on the move and you can look forward to more FUN on the horizon!
Wishing you a Great Summer,
Wisconsin in the "Fight for Fun"
Take a minute to read this interesting article in Twin Cities Business about the use of advertising to compete for vacation dollars. The article sizes up the competition for Minnesotan travelers in a three way battle between Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The article asks an advertising expert to analyze the effectives of all three state's ad campaigns. The reporter notes that Wisconsin's ads are highly effective and reflect a tourist state of mind.
Here are some brief highlights on the marketing front:
The Midwest is a great place to live, raise a family, get an education, work and start a business. The Midwestern Governor's Association wants to showcase America's best-kept secret through an online video contest. The public is invited to enter videos up to 3-minutes in length that tell our region's story and capture the best qualities of the Midwest. Nine winners could win $1,000 or $2,500. More information is available on the Midwest Governor's Association website.
Keep Walking with Walker
The First Lady's initiative to explore the scenic beauty of Wisconsin's parks, trails and landscapes, while promoting good health continues. Mrs. Walker will join Stephanie in Door County, July 18-19, for walks in Whitefish Dunes and Rock Island state parks. On August 15, the First Lady will lead a hike in the wilds of Florence County. Visit www.walkwithwalkerwi.org and follow the First Lady's blog and see photos from previous walks.
Check out this great clip from Walk with Walker in La Crosse in May!
Technology & Customer Service
TravelWisconsin.com Traffic Up by 48% in May
Visits to TravelWisconsin.com increased 48% during May compared to the previous year. Traffic from unique visitors increased 42% and page views were up 34%. The Huffington Post.com was the #4 referral site in May, likely due to the Great River Road being a "contestant" in their Prettiest Drives contest.
Social and TravelWisconsin.com Working Together
Showing that social media and traditional websites go hand in hand, referrals from sites like Facebook and Twitter to TravelWisconsin.com had a significant increase in May. On the flip side, social sharing activity was also up. Top pages include the TravelWisconsin.com homepage, Fireside Theatre's Legally Blonde travel item, Travel Green Wisconsin overview page and the new fishing game.
Biking Landing Page Launched
An enhanced landing page for bicycling was created last month. The page features a directory of bike trails, featured articles, rides and events, links to partner sites, guides and maps.
Morning Show Appearances to Promote Summer Travel
Team Tourism has been making the rounds of morning TV news programs in a variety of markets to promote summer travel. In neighboring Illinois, Stephanie appeared on Fox Chicago while Danielle took a turn in the chair on WREX in Rockford. In Milwaukee, Deputy Dave appeared on Fox 6 and Lisa on WTMJ. Lisa also covered WKOW-Ch 27 and WISC-Ch 3 in Madison. More interviews are booked in the weeks ahead in Wausau and Eau Claire. Morning show topics have included what's hot and new in summer travel plus traveling on a budget.
First Quarter Earned Media Stats
A variety of destinations and events have received accolades from the media in recent weeks:
Program Manger & Liaision
Travel Green Wisconsin Working for Members, Helping the Environment
Travel Green Wisconsin staff recently commissioned a study for two of our original pilot areas, the community of Bayfield and Door County, to measure how green practices stack up by saving energy, water, and waste and to gauge how the program is benefitting certified members on an economic and environmental front. Here are a few of the very positive and fascinating findings.
You requested it and we listened. TGW members are now able to renew their Travel Green Wisconsin certification online! You can find the link for online renewals on our industry site. It's fast and easy. The option to download and send in the paperwork is still available. Payment can be mailed to the Department attention Travel Green Wisconsin.
Grant Tip of the Month
Tourist Information Center grant applications are due July 1, 2012. The application form and guidelines can be found here. Make sure that you include the correct paid invoices for reimbursement and payroll registers for staffing costs. The program reimburses up to 50% of eligible customer service staffing costs, qualified signage or equipment costs. Requests should be limited to staff who work the front counter and serve a substantial number of visitors.
Industry Relations & Services Director
Power of Tourism PowerPoint Available
If you missed it in last month's newsletter, note that we have a posted a revised Power of Tourism PowerPoint for 2012. Your Regional Tourism Specialist is available to answer any questions or to schedule a presentation.
Industry News and Kudos
The RTS team thanks industry partners for responding to their request for information about business during the Memorial Day Weekend. Expect to hear again from your RTS about bookings and traffic during the July 4th holiday week.
Arts in Wisconsin Benefit the Economy, Create Jobs
Ask anyone in the hospitality industry whether their local arts community helps attract travelers and you'll get an unequivocal "Yes!" Now a statewide study from Americans for the Arts shows that the state's nonprofit arts and culture are also an economic engine. According to the report, nonprofit arts in Wisconsin drive $535 million in economic activity annually, generating nearly $65 million in state and local tax revenues and supporting nearly 23,000 jobs. Read the full state report and the release here or visit the Wisconsin Arts Board website for more details. In addition, six metropolitan areas in the state (Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Fox Cities, La Crosse, Wausau) commissioned individual studies to measure the arts in their communities.
Stay on top of news from the Wisconsin Arts Board through email, Facebook and Twitter.
Harnessing the power of tourism to build a better Wisconsin. |
See how on: http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.
|Wisconsin Department of Tourism
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