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September 2012  

Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

Arts Board  | Council Perspectives | Marketing and Tourism News | Industry Relations | Grant News
Customer Service & Technology | Wisconsin in the News | Travel Green Wisconsin

Secretary Message

Hello Friends,

ESTO I have news I'm proud to share with everyone this month, because it is a major win for all us. A few weeks ago at the U.S. Travel Association's ESTO conference in Boston, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism was awarded the USTA's Mercury Award in the public and media relations category for the "Great Lakes Mitten Campaign." It was an absolute honor to be recognized by the top tourism organization in the country for this joint initiative with Michigan. It shows our team is taking risks, pushing creative boundaries and coming up with new ideas to motivate travelers.

We also found out this week that in New York City the PR News "Platinum Awards" recognized us for the "Great Lakes Mitten Campaign" and our Facebook Summer Fun Report. The PR News awards are especially prestigious because the winners are among the top agencies and brands in the nation and very few are from the travel and hospitality industry! Winners included McDonald's, Disney and American Airlines. To be in this company, needless to say, we are over the moon.

An opportunity like 'Mitten' doesn't come along often and with your help, we were able to leverage the exposure and do some good at the same time. The award comes at a perfect time as our PR team is making plans to work with you again to collect mittens for charitable donation this winter. More information coming soon!

Last but not least, we've been able to view all six segments of Peter Greenberg's "Hidden Gems: Native Wisconsin" and they are outstanding! We were proud to debut the Hidden Gems episodes to our 11 tribes during this month's Great Lakes Inter-tribal Council meeting in Milwaukee. The first segment officially airs online at Peter Greenberg Worldwide on Friday, September 21. A new video will post each week until all six have run. Later this fall, the videos will air on Huffington Post, AARP and other websites. They will also be posted on, be sure to check them out. And a shout out to our friends at NATOW, which partnered with us on this project!

Happy fall travels,

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Lola Roeh   
Governor's Council on Tourism   

Top of the page
Council Perspectives

Dear Tourism Partners,

The applause continues for the best summer season ever! We've been hearing from tourism partners around the state that business has been record-setting. Good weather certainly helped as well as did an excellent performance from the summer campaign. Thanks to the Department for the great summer marketing and public relations efforts

I'd like to recognize several council members that have been reappointed for new three-year terms: Kathy Kopp from Platteville Chamber of Commerce/Grant County Tourism, Deb Archer from the Greater Madison CVB, Stacey Watson from Harley-Davidson and Paul Upchurch of Visit Milwaukee.

The marketing committee has been busy this summer, working with Laughlin-Constable and Department staff on fine-turning the fall campaign and reviewing concepts for winter and summer 2013. It's great to be ahead of schedule on our campaign timeline in order to show the industry all of our great work at WIGCOT in March. We are also meeting this week in Madison for a brand strategy session.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to Stephanie, Dave and the Department on their recent U.S. Travel Mercury Award for last winter's "Great Lakes Mitten Campaign." The award was well deserved and we look forward to keeping that initiative going this coming winter.

Our next meeting is October 18th at Wild Eagle Lodge in Eagle River. Remember these meetings are open to the public, so we hope those of you in Northern Wisconsin will join us.

Here's looking forward to a great fall,


Thursday, October 18th
10:00-2:00 PM
Wild Eagle Lodge
Eagle River

Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
Top of the page
Marketing Update

"Have You Seen" Our Fall Campaign?
# The state's fall tourism campaign is in full swing this month using all advertising channels at our disposal: television, pre-roll video, radio, print, in-life, interactive and social media. Read the campaign summary below and then visit the Marketing Overview page to see, watch and hear all of the pieces that make up this integrated campaign.

The print, digital and in-life campaign is based on a "breaking news alert" theme that reminds travelers to be on the lookout for peak colors during the short fall season. Radio spots are reminiscent of "breaking news bulletins" calling attention to these "shady characters known to change color quickly" (namely maples, sycamore, birch, oaks and aspen).

Three different "Have You Seen" print ads portray Wisconsin's fall foliage as "masters of disguise" not to be missed. These tongue-in-cheek executions resemble wanted posters and the call-to-action is a Google+ phone number that direct consumers to call our "Fall Color Hotline." For those not familiar with Google Voice technology, it is a free web-based application that can provide a unique phone number for each market. When users call the number they will receive a recorded greeting and fall color update from our very own Stephanie who will record weekly. This application also provides a tracking mechanism.

Four pre-roll video spots are now airing on and other video advertising networks. These pre-roll spots feature veteran reporter and news anchor Mike Miller from Milwaukee's WISN-TV Channel 12, who is shown reporting live in the field with breaking news on Wisconsin fall color. The traditional TV spot is a freshened re-release of last year's Girlfriend's Getaway and is airing in Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and eastern Iowa.

Finally, street teams hired in Chicago are posting flyers on exterior construction sites, telephone poles, street lights as well as interior retail locations, libraries, coffee shops, and more each week through October 14.

Post Your Own "Have You Seen?" Flyers
Now that you've seen how the campaign comes together, we encourage all of our tourism partners to post the "Have You Seen" flyers in your visitor centers and community hot spots. We sent out an email earlier this month with all the details and a link to the flyer with a Wisconsin (414) area code. Share photos of how you used the flyer by sending them to Danielle Johnson.

Packers Sweepstakes "Drafting" Facebook Likes #
Travel Wisconsin and the Green Bay Packers are once again teaming up to offer fans a chance to win Packers tickets, sideline passes, overnight stays and terrific Packers gear. Fans can enter the contest on the Travel Wisconsin Facebook page now through October 28. Like last year's successful Packers sweepstakes, this year's giveaway has fueled a jump in Travel Wisconsin Facebook traffic. Over 1,700 people entered in the first few days of the sweepstakes helping us reach our goal of 100,000 Facebook likes by 2013!
  LInk to Metrics


Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

Top of the page
Conference & Education

Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show, October 21-23
Save the date for the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association annual conference and trade show, October 21- 23 at the Kalahari Resort Convention Center & Waterpark. Agenda and registration are now posted online. Featured speakers include Vail Brown, Smith Travel Research; Mark McCullough, TripAdvisor; and, Ron Vlasic from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and the 2013 AH&LA Chairman of the Board. The Trade Show serves as a convenient way to find vendors, new products and services, and ways to improve operations and bottom line.
Wisconsin Fall Tourism Convention, Nov 8-9#
The Wisconsin Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus invites you to set sail to the 2012 Wisconsin Fall Tourism Convention, November 8-9 in Sheboygan at the Blue Harbor Resort. Enjoy top-notch educational sessions beginning Thursday with our "Creating Customer Loyalty: It Starts With You" keynote presentation by Wisconsin's own John McHugh of Kwik Trip. Breakout sessions include topics on marketing research, social media, sports marketing, online sales and more.
Walk with Walker Heads North
Lace up your walking shoes and join First Lady Tonette Walker in Northern Wisconsin next week, September 27-28. She's doing two hikes; one each in Florence and Forest Counties. Visit to follow the First Lady's blog and see photos from previous walks.

Joellyn Merz   
Technology & Customer Service   
Top of the page
Customer Service & Technology

Menomonie Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center Now Open!
# The Menomonie Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center opened at the DOT Rest Areas on I-94 in Dunn County just in time to serve travelers over the busy Labor Day weekend. The centers on both sides of I-94 serve the critical corridor between Wisconsin and the Twin Cities. The new center joined 7 other Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers offering friendly staff to greet visitors, travel planning assistance and a wide-variety of travel guides from around the state. This Welcome Center is the result of collaboration between DOT, the Tourism Department, and the communities of Menomonie, Chippewa Falls, Hudson and Eau Claire.

The Welcome Center is currently undergoing renovations and acquiring permanent fixtures. We look forward to having an official ribbon cutting event when the updates are complete. Please note that there is currently limited space for brochure distribution and center staff will contact you directly to obtain guides.

Revised Wisconsin Activity Guide Coming in October
# A freshened and revised Wisconsin Activity Guide will be available around the first week of October. The guide has been updated with new categories including waterparks, outdoor art, hunting, fishing, spectator sports, zip-lining, ATVing, National Treasures, and an expanded snowmobiling section. Information centers interested in carrying the guide should contact Will Kuehn at 608-266-5382 in early October to have guides shipped to your center.

Travel Extranet Reminders
The Spring-Summer Event Guide will be entering production soon in order to be ready for early spring travel planning. Database Coordinator Linda Anderson recommends that Extranet Partners update their April-September 2013 events by October 19. Be sure your listings are in the system and current to have your event considered for this popular guide.

Lisa Marshall   
Communications Director    
Top of the page
Wisconsin in the News

Fall TV Interviews and Conferences Underway
We're on the road again this month, promoting fall activities, events and travel in TV markets across the state including Milwaukee, Madison, Wausau, Eau Claire, as well as Rockford, IL. Lisa was also just in Indianapolis promoting Wisconsin at the Society of American Travel Writers conference and Danielle will be in the Quad Cities in October for the Midwest Travel Writers Association conference.

Help Keep Hands Warm this Winter with "Mitten 2.0"
# After last year's successful Great Lakes Mitten Campaign, we will be working with the tourism industry to collect mittens for local charities. Anyone in the tourism industry is encouraged to collect mittens and warm items from visitor centers and DMO's to lodging properties and attractions. If you are interested in participating, send an email to Danielle Johnson at to be added to our master list. More details and campaign materials will follow in the coming months!

In the News this Month
We're always updating our media room, highlighting the latest Wisconsin coverage. Check out our recent clips from around the nation. A few clips to note include articles from this summer's press torus in Green Bay and Milwaukee.

Sarah Klavas    
Industry Relations & Services Director   
Top of the page
Industry Services

Mississippi River Country Receives Grant
The Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) in Madison received $240,000 from the International Trade Administration's Market Development Cooperator Program to promote tourism exports to Japan. The funds will allow MRPC to develop the Mississippi River waterway as a popular tourist destination by implementing heavy social media promotion in Japan, creating strategic partnerships with U.S. rental car firms, and developing over 70 sites along the river where visitors can use wireless handheld devices to access Japanese language content about the site.

Industry Accolades
Green Bay – America's Five Best Football Towns

# (a division of named Green Bay one of "America's Five Best Football Towns." In addition to Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Titletown was honored for the long standing football history of the city, as well as for being a well rounded destination with attractions such as the Green Bay Botanical Gardens and the National Railroad Museum.
Osthoff Resort – "America's Best Lake Hotels"
The readers of Travel + Leisure voted the Osthoff Resort one of "America's Best Lake Hotels." A total of just 15 hotels made the list which is featured on this month, with the Osthoff claiming the number 15 spot.
Milwaukee – Best River Towns in America
With 410 miles of streams, 85 lakes, and three rivers, Milwaukee was voted No. 7 out of 12 on Outside Magazine's list of Best River Towns in America. Milwaukee is also home to more than 130 water-technology companies and the country's first School of Freshwater Sciences, at UW-Milwaukee.
Highway 13 becomes Wisconsin Scenic Byway
Applefest Top Festival on

Congratulations to Bayfield County's Highway 13 for becoming the state's newest scenic byway! Highway 13 runs along the shores of Lake Superior for 70 miles and provides travelers with access to pristine views of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore and six charming shore towns. Bayfield Applefest is featured as one of the 10 Fun Fall Festivals on, highlighting Applefest's 60 orchards and food vendors and apple-inspired food including caramel apples, apple pies, and even apple bratwurst, mustard, and butter.
Mineral Point – Makes "Most British Town in America"
It was settlers and miners from Cornwall, England -- and the figgyhobbin that immigrated with them -- that has led to the BBC naming Mineral Point, one of "The 10 Most British Towns in America." Talk about a British invasion!

Shelly Allness   
Program Manger & Liaision   
Top of the page
Travel Green Wisconsin

NEW! Revised Application with Online Capability
Travel Green Wisconsin continues to push forward with programmatic improvements. Our newest includes a revised and updated TGW application that flows more smoothly and takes less time to complete. An important update includes the ability to fill out, save and submit the application online, keeping with the program's mission to reduce waste and meet membership requests. In addition to making the application computer friendly, other revisions include elevating innovation points, and the ability to receive certification points for supporting other programs with similar interests, such as UW's Green Masters program and the DNR's Endangered Resources program. We have also brought more focus on agritourism as this is a growing field with a strong tie to Travel Green Wisconsin.

We feel this refreshed application strikes a great balance between towing the line on sustainability and maintaining credibility of the certification. It continues to be a roadmap to developing a greener, more profitable business. The new application will be posted online later this week. And don't forget, application renewals for existing members are now available online as well through our industry site.

In an effort to spread the good word on the many improvements to Travel Green Wisconsin, Shelly is hitting the road in an effort to recruit new members. If you are interested in a free presentation feel free to contact her directly at or 608-261-8767.

Travel Green Logo

Cable Area Chamber of Commerce, Cable
Capital Brewery Co., Middleton
Bella Sailing Cruises, Fish Creek
The Splendide, Stockholm
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Pike Lake Area, Hartford


Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
Top of the page
Grant News

Grant Tip of the Month: Step 3 of the Grant Review Process
After the JEM Committee convenes, Abbie presents their recommendations to Secretary Klett, who is interested in all the projects, their marketing plans and ROI. The Secretary looks for projects most likely to have a substantial impact on the state's tourism economy. In August, Secretary Klett approved funding for 8 projects that will generate $2.3 million in visitor expenditures.

Here's the list of JEM grant recipients from the August round:

Driftless Film Festival
Green Bay Film Festival YR 3
Hayward Holiday Lights
Janesville Holiday Lights YR 2
La Crosse Hmong New Year
Milwaukee Disabled Sailing Championships
Milwaukee Winterfest YR 2
Wellspring Agri-Culture Fest

See a full recap of all the grants awarded by the Department of Tourism in fiscal year 2012

Joint Effort Marketing– November 1
Meetings Mean Business – December 1
Ready, Set, Go! – January 1
Tourism Information Center – January 1
Destination Marketing – April 1


George Tzougros   
Executive Director   
Top of the page
Arts Board

A Portal to the Arts
Trying to reach more people to tell them about your upcoming arts events or opportunities? is one way to reach people interested in the arts but another is, an online resource, to search, schedule, and discover Wisconsin's arts, culture, humanities, and history. The site features a calendar, searchable options by interest area and geographic regions, digital media, classes, chats, and monthly highlights. Agencies interested in posting information should start here.


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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