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This year's WIGCOT was a great success! We were thrilled with the fantastic turnout, tremendous speakers and positive media coverage. We hoped you enjoyed it and left with plenty of useful information. We appreciate those of you who took the time to answer our survey about your conference experience as it helps us plan for next year.
Our new travel expenditures report will be here any day and with that comes our annual National Tourism Week outreach. I am scheduled to join the Governor on several tourism stops on Friday, May 3 to announce the new research numbers. Watch for another Travel Wisconsin News sometime next week with links to the research so you can prepare for your own outreach. More information regarding the media rollout and the May 3 embargo are in this month's "Wisconsin in the News" section.
The Governor's Council on Tourism held their annual election of officers at last month's meeting. Congratulations to our new Council Chair Paul Upchurch and the rest of our newly elected officers. I also want to thank past-Chair Lola Roeh for her many years of service as Chairperson. It has been a sincere pleasure working with her and we look forward to her continued service on the Marketing Committee. In other Council news, James Bolen was featured last month in the Wisconsin State Journal's Executive Q&A. Here is the link if you missed the article.
Deputy Dave and I traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to meet with our congressional delegation as part of U.S. Travel Association's "Spring Meetings Week." We had a number of successful appointments with our leaders in Washington that gave us a chance to share with them the power of tourism in Wisconsin.
Governor's Council on Tourism
Dear Industry Partners,
It is a great honor to be elected as Chair of the Governor's Council on Tourism, and I look forward to serving our State's tourism industry. I have big shoes to fill following Lola Roeh and thank her for her years of leadership on the Tourism Council. We will continue to benefit from her participation on the Governor's Council and Marketing Committee.
I've been fortunate to spend more than 30 years in this industry in operations, sales and marketing in hotels and private clubs in over ten different cities in the Midwest and the South, including several years in Milwaukee. What we do in the tourism industry can be fun and exciting, but it is also critically important to the quality of life and the economies of our local communities. There is great expertise and energy on the Council, and by working together – small communities with large communities – sharing our collective creativity and experience, we will continue to make a difference in our industry's bottom line.
There was a tremendous sense of pride in our industry this year at WIGCOT, which is not only a strong endorsement of the direction and leadership of the Department of Tourism under Secretary Stephanie Klett, but also a celebration of the tireless efforts of everyone working in their own unique way for Wisconsin tourism.
I look forward to the year ahead!
Huffington Post: "The world's greatest tourism ad"
The debut of our new summer TV ad from Hollywood director David Zucker and actor Robert Hays received widespread positive review from the media including this article in The Huffington Post. In case you missed WIGCOT, or would like to just watch it again, it is available on the YouTube Travel Wisconsin Channel. Also, our fun "behind-the-scenes mockumentary" from the filming on Plum Lake in Sayner is online. Our entire summer campaign, which includes two additional TV spots plus print, digital, outdoor and radio executions, will be available on the industry site later this spring.
International Marketing Briefs
ITB was a great success and an excellent example of collaboration and partnership with states in the Great Lakes region. Ho-Chunk's Collin Price and Aimee Awonohopay of NATOW also attended the event. Here is a photo from the GLUSA booth that includes Christopher Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA, Sarah Klavas, The Honorable Phillip D. Murphy U.S. Ambassador to Germany and his wife, Paul Sherburne (Minnesota), Dave Lorenz (Michigan), Xenia Castillio-Hunter (Visit Detroit).
Brand USA chose the Great Lakes and Wisconsin for its first ever travel agent Mega Fam sponsored by British Airways. Milwaukee, Lake Geneva and Spring Green are lined up to host this first tour.
Sarah and Dave along with several Wisconsin partners including Circle Wisconsin, Visit Milwaukee and Harley-Davidson Museum will join Great Lakes USA to market Wisconsin at the U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow (IPW) in Las Vegas. We anticipate IPW will be in Chicago for 2014.
NEW! Co–op Program Updated
We've taken a close look at the co-op program and added fresh opportunities that are available beginning July 1.
In addition, we have partnered with Wisconsin Trails to produce "Fun Times," a monthly four-page special section that will publish in the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Space in this special section is selling quickly, so contact Sarah Keller at 414-270-7145 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Walk with Walker in Baraboo
About 40 walkers joined First Lady Tonette Walker as she launched her first walk of the year (and her 18th walk overall) at the Baraboo River Walk. The two-mile walk from Broadway Park to Ochsner Park included many signs of spring. Mrs. Walker and Tourism staff made a few side visits to Ringling Theatre, Village Café and Circus World Museum. Mrs. Walker's next walk will be a little bit off the Wisconsin beaten path with a stroll along the Great Wall of China during the state's trade mission to China. We look forward to having her back on a Wisconsin trail in May.
Governor Kick-Offs Fishing Season
Stephanie, Dave and several Department staff members will join Governor Walker for the Governor's Fishing Opener on Lake Namakagon in Cable May 3-5. This is the Governor's annual event to kick-off the fishing season and provides an opportunities to promote fishing and its importance to the state. A number of events have been planned for the weekend including workshops, golf and plenty of opportunity to get out on Lake Namakagon for some spectacular fishing.
Industry Relations & Services Director
NATOW Tourism Conference, June 10-12
Registration is now available for the 2013 NATOW Conference at the Legendary Waters Resort in Bayfield. The theme is "Sustainable Tourism: Naturally Attractive," reflecting NATOW's commitment to sustainable tourism. Tourism staff in attendance includes Regional Tourism Specialists Drew Nussbaum and Sarah Pischer.
2012 Annual Report Available
We are pleased to present the industry withthe Department of Tourism's 2012 Annual Report. introduced at the last council meeting, the 28-page report provides a snapshot of the Department's key accomplishments in 2012, key performance indicators, a portfolio of advertising creative and a recap of new research and initiatives. It also offers a review of functional areas for the Department and Tourism Council.
News from the Invasive Species Council
Danielle Johnson is now serving as the Department of Tourism representative on the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council, which advises the DNR in regards to invasive plants, animals and pests that take their toll on Wisconsin's lakes, rivers and landscapes. Note that June is Invasive Species Awareness Month. Statewide activities include a youth poster contest and the presentation of Invader Crusader Awards. Nominations for Invader Crusader Awards are due April 27.
2013 Deer Trustee Implementation Survey
If you are a hunter or just someone who loves the outdoors, the DNR is requesting feedback on Wisconsin's white-tail deer resources. Wisconsin's deer program managers value the insights from hunters, farmers, landowners and others to help guide decisions made for the future of the deer herds and habitat. The survey closes on April 20, use this link access the survey.
WACO Offers Free Camping to Military & Other Heroes
In appreciation of the men and women who serve their country, participating members of the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners will offer free camping to any person in the Armed Forces during the weekend of May 18-19. Guests need to simply present military ID or proof of being a Veteran when checking in at a participating campground.
WACO Offers Industry Accolades
May 3rd Embargo for Economic Impact Research
We are using an embargo of FRIDAY, MAY 3 at NOON for the release of this year's economic impact research. The Governor and Stephanie are scheduled to share the news at several media stops on May 3rd as they make their way to the Governor's Fishing Opener. Our goal is to provide our tourism partners with the research and a toolkit on or around April 24 to give you time to prepare for your own media outreach. If you have any questions about working with media to release the research, please contact Lisa Marshall. Questions about the research itself can be directed to Sarah Klavas or your RTS.
Media Praises Zucker-Hays Ad
The new summer ad "The Lake" received a positive media response following its launch at the Governor's Conference on Tourism last month. In addition to the Huffington Post reporting it was "the world's greatest tourism ad," we had more than 130 print and online clips and 50 broadcast segments totaling about $5.5 million in earned media value. A few samples of the coverage have been posted in the Media Room.
Appointments with Travel Media
The Public Relations Team is on the road this month as we head to both the Twin Cities and Chicago for meetings with travel editors and writers to share with them all the fantastic things happening around the state. We have about 14 meetings set up with freelance writers, and media outlets including St. Paul Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, Delta Sky Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, Chicago Tribune and Make It Better magazine.
Submit a Nomination for 8th Wonder of the World
VirtualTourist, a leading travel website and partner with TripAdvisor Media Group, is crowning the "8th Wonder of the World." Tourism Boards are invited to submit a nomination, whether an ancient, natural or manmade landmark from the area they represent, to be voted on by the general public. The national entertainment TV show "Extra" has been lined up as a media partner to support the campaign. All nominations must be received by May 31 and public voting begins June 3.
Four Appointed to the Wisconsin Arts Board
Governor Scott Walker announced the appointment of four new members to the Wisconsin Arts Board, the state agency which nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage. The new members are: Mary Gielow, Mequon; Brian Kelsey, Fish Creek; Heather A. McDonell, Madison; and Kevin Miller, Fond du Lac. The Wisconsin Arts Board is governed by a fifteen-member board appointed by the Governor to serve three-year terms. Board members are Wisconsin citizens recognized for their accomplishments in the arts, humanities, business, education or public service. The board includes members from urban and rural areas across the state and from diverse racial, economic and cultural backgrounds. Board members set policy for the agency and approve funding recommendations made by the peer review panels. The members meet a minimum of four times per year, and all meetings are open to the public.
Wisconsin Arts Day
George and Stephanie joined Wisconsin's Poet Laureate Max Garland at Arts Day in Madison last month. Supporters hailing from the worlds of arts, business, education, civic issues, politics, and government met with Wisconsin's state leadership to celebrate creativity at work and Wisconsin's bountiful human, social and civic assets, and the opportunities to lead nationally and globally in 21st century jobs and business.
Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines
Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines
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See how on: http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.
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