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February 2013  

Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

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

  Secretary Message

Hello Friends,

Next week I'll be joining Governor Walker and the First Lady in Washington, D.C. for the National Governor's Association winter meeting. It's a phenomenal opportunity to promote Milwaukee, which will host their annual NGA meeting this summer, and to invite them to extend their stay in our state before or after the meeting.

Deputy Dave and I have been busy meeting one-on-one with members of the Joint Committee on Finance, State Senators and Representatives to give them the facts about Wisconsin's Tourism Industry and the benefits of an increased budget. Don't forget to invite your local representatives and senators to the WIGCOT legislative breakfast Tuesday, March 19 at the Monona Terrace. We've had nearly 50 register with us already, and it's the perfect opportunity for you to get to know them better and tout the important work going on in your community.

On February 20, I'll be in the audience as Governor Walker delivers his State of the Budget address. His preliminary comments about Tourism and our budget have been very positive.

We just finished compiling our Annual Tourism Report for 2012. Our Director of Industry Services & Relations, Sarah Klavas, will go through the document at our scheduled Council Meeting March 17.

On a lighter note, I had the chance to visit Sunburst Ski Area in Washington County and met the new owners, who had me do a little snow-tubing.
Check out the video they made! Tubing down the hill you can reach speeds of almost 40 mph. I'm not proud of it, but I screamed like a baby! What fun it was to showcase Wisconsin's Downhill Ski Industry. Senator Grothman joined me in his home district and was the only snow tuber wearing a tie!

I look forward to your participation next month at WIGCOT. We have an incredible line-up of speakers and break-out sessions that will educate and inspire. The Governor will kick things off Monday morning and wrap things up at the Governor's Awards Dinner Tuesday night.


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Lola Roeh   
Governor's Council on Tourism   

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Council Perspectives

We find ourselves well into 2013 and off to another big year for tourism. Now that we are past the post-holiday lull, leisure guests are traveling again, and with some much needed snow across the state outdoor recreation is picking up. Looking to the year ahead, the Marketing Committee met in January to review final concepts for summer and fall 2013, which will be presented at the Conference.

And speaking of the Conference, don't forget to mark your calendars for March 17-19, when Madison hosts the Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism. This brings me to a personal invitation to see the Governor's Council in action at the Governor's Council on Tourism Meeting, Sunday March 17th, from 3-5 pm at the Monona Terrace. Please join us for a front row seat to see how this group of professionals, representing the tourism industry, works together with Secretary Klett and Deputy Dave and the Department Staff to move Wisconsin Tourism forward. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions or make comments as we move through the Council Meeting. We'll be holding elections, recapping the year's accomplishments, giving updates on marketing, sports marketing, meetings and conventions, Travel Green, Wisconsin Welcome Centers and sharing the 2012 Annual Report.

As always, it is an honor and a pleasure to serve as the Council Chair and to be part of everything our industry and the Department of Tourism has accomplished over the past year. I look forward to seeing you at Conference!



Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
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Marketing Update

Summer Campaign Preview at WIGCOT
Get a sneak peak at the Department's summer ad campaign at WIGCOT. During Monday's lunch, Dave will present this summer's ad campaign and also take a look back at campaign highlights from 2012.

Mark the Date for 2013 National Tourism Week
National Tourism Week, our annual salute to tourism's impact on the state and nation, is May 4-12. We will be releasing our annual economic impact research. We have a statewide media tour planned for Stephanie to promote the power of tourism as well as the state's hidden travel gems. Dave and Sarah will also be on the road speaking at tourism events around the state. If you would like to book Dave or Sarah for your Tourism Week breakfast, dinner or event, contact Molly Delaney at 608-266-2345.

Marketing Briefs
  • Sarah will represent Wisconsin in the GLUSA booth at ITB Berlin March 6-10. ITB is the world's leading travel trade show for destinations, tour operators, booking systems, carriers, hotels and all other suppliers who seek to reach the international travel market.
  • The Department has issued a Multicultural Marketing Request For Proposal (RFP) to secure specialized marketing assistance. An RFP allows us to secure a vendor, contract with them for services and comply with state purchasing guidelines.

  LInk to Metrics


Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

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Conference & Education

Early Bird Deadline is February 22 – Dine and Laugh with Zucker, Hays and Stephanie
Register before February 22 and save $50 on registration fees for the tourism industry's largest event of the year. And not only will you save $50, you will be entered to win a private breakfast with the native Wisconsinite and comedic mastermind David Zucker who directed his "Airplane!" star Robert Hays in our summer 2013 TV spot. Start your conference adventure at

Legislative Partnership Breakfast
Join your friends, colleagues and members of the Wisconsin State Legislature at Tuesday morning's breakfast as we celebrate the success of the state's tourism industry and the partnerships that help keep it going. The Partnership Breakfast is an important opportunity for your local legislators to learn more about the impact tourism has in their district. We have nearly 50 legislators now registered. If you would like to be seated at a table with your legislator, please arrive early as seating will be first come, first served.

Southwest Airlines Giveaway
We are thrilled to announce that WIGCOT sponsor Southwest Airlines will do a drawing for a special giveaway. In addition, everyone will leave with a souvenir gift from the airline!

New "Regional Open Forum" Session at WIGCOT
You spoke, we listened and then created a networking event that brings together tourism pros from your area! Don't miss the opportunity for relaxed and casual conversation led by your Regional Tourism Specialist. You choose the topic and we facilitate a discussion of challenges and opportunities particular to your region so you leave with contacts, best practices and creative solutions to your questions. Governor's Council Members and Department staff will add expertise and insight. The session is Tuesday, March 19th at 3 p.m.

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Sarah Klavas    
Industry Relations & Services Director   
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Industry Services

Superior Days Presentation
Sarah will be presenting at Superior Days, a grassroots community-based effort to bring issues of importance to Northwestern Wisconsin to the attention of state legislators. Topics of discussion include the Department's international marketing program, marketing plans in the Twin Cities, and promoting Wisconsin culinary experiences as well as outdoor recreation.
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Department's 2012 Annual Report at WIGCOT
The 2012 annual report will be presented at the Council Meeting Sunday afternoon, March 17, at WIGCOT. The report highlights many of the Department's strategies, benchmarks and marketing research from 2012.

Upcoming Consumer Shows
Department representatives will be promoting Wisconsin and its various industries at these upcoming consumer shows:
  • The Chicago Golf Show, Feb 22 - 24, 2013
  • Minneapolis Home and Garden Show, Feb. 27 - Mar. 3, 2013
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, Mar 6 – 10, 2013
For questions, please contact David Spiegelberg

Customer Service and DIY Assessment Programs
Improve your organization or business with customer service training and a DIY assessment program. More than two-thirds of the people who don't return to your place of business don't return because of the way they were treated, making customer service training an easy and cost effective way to attract and keep customers. And if you're looking to develop a brand and marketing strategy to put more heads in beds in your area, work with your RTS to complete a DIY assessment program.

Lisa Marshall   
Communications Director    
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Wisconsin in the News

2012 Earned Media Topped $59 million
We had another fantastic year for earned media! In 2012, our earned media topped $59.3 million, with over 2,300 clips and 1.38 billion impressions. Major initiatives that contributed to these positive results included the Peter Greenberg Native American Hidden Gems series, National Tourism week, the Big Bundle Up, publicity for our ad campaigns, and overall widespread coverage of Wisconsin's travel experiences. A short video featuring some of the year’s best clips will be presented at WIGCOT during the Tourism Showcase on Monday.

In the News This Month
The "Sweaterize Yourself" Travel Wisconsin Facebook app resulted in a number of news clips, especially from TV, including WEAU in Eau Claire. We also distributed a release announcing WIGCOT registration, which was picked up by the Associated Press, garnering media attention in the Midwest. And on a fun note, Deputy Dave's funny tweets about actress Lindsay Lohan was highlighted in Wisconsin Daily Herald's blog. Be sure to check our media room for some of our latest clips!

And Looking Ahead…
The PR team along with Laughlin-Constable and Geiger & Associates are looking ahead to spring and summer. Work continues for spring deskside meetings with travel editors and writers in Chicago and Twin Cities and planning is underway for the next four scheduled group press tours. Ongoing work includes pitching stories to national media and assisting travel writers on their individual story needs and visits.


Joellyn Merz   
Technology & Customer Service   
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Customer Service & Technology

2013 Arts and Craft Fair Directory Now Ready for Distribution Wigcot Logo
The Arts and Craft Fair directory is now stocked in the warehouses and ready for distribution! New features include descriptive sidebars providing more travel information on content like Art Tours, Barn Quilts, Art Schools and Native Art, as well as images and full color throughout the guide. Visitor and welcome centers interested in stocking this guide can contact Will Kuehn.

Notable Metrics
January saw an increase in visits of 18% from December and we anticipate gradual increases in traffic as we move through the rest of the winter season, especially when the snow flies. The Snow Conditions report was the top visited page in January with 253,261 unique page views. That is 34% of all page views for the month of January. Interesting fact: One of the top shared pages in January was Wisconsin's Retro Diners and Drive Inn's. Redesign Update
The web team has been working hard on the home stretch of the website redesign. Now in its final stages, content is being transferred to the new site and launch is scheduled for early March. We're excited to share it with you when it's done!

George Tzougros   
Executive Director   
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Arts Board

WAB Office Hours: La Crosse – Wednesday, February 27, 2013
11:00 am – 2 pm at Grounded Specialty Coffee, 308 Main Street, La Crosse
WAB Staff invite you to the WAB Office Hours in La Crosse, on Wednesday, February 27, from 11am to 2pm. Come talk about your work, project ideas, grant questions, policy issues, and the state of the arts in WI and beyond… Because it's wintertime in Wisconsin, please check our homepage for news of a weather-related postponement:

Not in La Crosse? Don't despair! We will soon be posting dates and times on our website for WAB Office Hours near you!


Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
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Grant News

Grant Advice Available at WIGCOT
Attending WIGCOT and have questions about writing a JEM grant application or how to apply for the Tourist Information Center grant? Schedule an appointment with Abbie Hill for March 18 or 19 to address your specific JEM or TIC questions. Email for more information about this opportunity.

Congratulations to these recent TIC grant recipients
Chippewa Falls
Eau Claire (for Menomonie Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center)
Green Lake
Land O Lakes
Northern Great Lakes Center
Prairie du Chien
St Croix Falls
Stevens Point

Joint Effort Marketing – April 1
Meetings Mean Business – April 1
Destination Marketing – April 1
Ready, Set, Go! – May 1
Tourist Information Center – July 1


Jason Zarling   
Program Manger    
Top of the page
Travel Green Wisconsin

Travel Green Update
Shelly Allness has accepted a position as the Tribal Liaison at the DNR and is no longer with the Department of Tourism. Please direct all Travel Green Wisconsin questions to Jason Zarling. He can be reached at or 608-266-5356.
Travel Green Logo
Holiday Music Motel, Sturgeon Bay
Positively Pewaukee, Pewaukee
The Meadows of Sixmile Creek Golf Course, Waunakee
Waukesha County Fair, Waukesha
Welty Environmental Center, Beloit
Madeline Island Museum, La Pointe
Old World Wisconsin, Eagle
Stonefield Historic Site, Cassville
Wade House, Sheboygan
Villa Louis Historic Site, Prairie du Chien


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