Trouble viewing this email? click here
January 2014

Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

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

 Secretary Message

Hello Friends,

Mittens The New Year has started strong for the tourism industry thanks to a lot of snow and countless winter activities. I'd like to start by thanking everyone for their incredible participation in the Big Bundle Up Campaign. You helped collect more than 11,000 warm winter items, and because of you over 75 charities received much needed donations. Thank you for your generosity, enthusiasm, creativity and support for this important initiative. Who knew that the day many of you dropped off your Big Bundle Up items would be one of the coldest days on record? The need was huge and you met it.

The Wisconsin Governor's conference on Tourism registration is now live and we have an outstanding line-up of speakers. You can learn more in the conference section of this newsletter, but we have some big names coming to WIGCOT this year, including world-famous composer and sought-after keynote Eric Whitacre, Americans for the Arts President Robert Lynch, former Hard Rock International senior director Jim Knight, and back by popular demand, Roger Brooks.

Governor Walker will be kicking off the conference Monday morning and wrapping up the event at Tuesday night's tourism awards dinner, so don't forget to submit a nomination. The deadline is just two weeks away.

Last but not least, Deputy Dave will debut our new summer ad, so expect some fun. (Spoiler alert: there are some big celebrities who will be on-hand to help.) Our goal is to have you leave the conference inspired, energized, educated and ready to put to use all that you've learned. Find the full conference agenda here.

Please read on, and we'll see you out on the road "Traveling Wisconsin."

Like what you see in this month's Travel Wisconsin News?
Share it on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook Twitter


Paul Upchurch   
Governor's Council on Tourism   

Top of the page
Council Perspectives

Dear Industry Partners,

We kicked off 2014 with a great Council meeting on January 9. Open elections were held for the Marketing Committee, an important group that acts as a sounding board for the Department's advertising campaigns. We also discussed the successful meeting with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson in November and the importance of bringing tourism issues to the federal level. The Council received updates on WIGCOT including a great line-up of speakers and a new feature to help attendees get the most out of the conference. In addition, the Council was updated on different areas within the Department and from each of the Council committees.

The Council compiled a year-end report for 2013 including a summary of the work of each committee in the last year as well as key accomplishments. Read more here.

I invite you to join us at our next Council meeting, Sunday, March 2 from 3:00 –5:00 p.m. at WIGCOT. Learn what the Council does and meet just a few of the leaders in the tourism industry. Hope to see you there.


Sunday, March 2, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa Lake Geneva

Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
Top of the page
Marketing Update

Welcome New Marketing Committee Members
Open elections were held for the Governor's Council on Tourism Marketing Committee at the Council meeting this month. We're pleased to announce Brian Kelsey, Managing Director for Peninsula Players Theatre, Lola Roeh, General Manager for the Osthoff Resort, and Stacey Watson, Senior Director of Consumer Segment Marketing for Harley-Davidson, were all re-elected and congratulate new members, Allyson Gommer, Director for Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, and Cindy Burzinski, Director for Vilas County Tourism.

Debut of New Summer Ad at WIGCOT
For your next in-flight entertainment, David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams (ZAZ), all Wisconsin natives, Robert Hays and former Milwaukee Bucks teammate and the NBA's all-time scoring leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will debut the new summer 2014 TV ad Monday morning at WIGCOT. Directed by ZAZ and starring Hays and Abdul-Jabbar, the original directors and stars of the 1980 hit movie "Airplane!" were reunited in the cockpit to film the ad. Deputy Dave will also showcase other elements of the summer campaign as well as highlights of 2013 during his Tuesday lunch presentation.

  LInk to Metrics


Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

Top of the page
Conference & Education

General Session Line-Up
Top notch programming gives WIGCOT attendees the inspiration, tools and information they need to develop and grow. We're thrilled about this year's line-up of keynote speakers, here's a brief introduction:
  • Eric Whitacre – A world-famous composer and lecturer, Eric will speak inspiringly about the possibilities that open up when people are invited to contribute creatively and share their talent with their peers.

  • Robert Lynch – President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, Robert will connect the importance of arts and culture and tourism. With more than 30 years of experience in the arts industry, Robert is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance arts in society.

  • Jim Knight – Former senior director of training and development from Hard Rock International, Jim is bringing a high-energy, interactive and visual session on how to differentiate your organization from the rest to become the business and employer of choice.

  • Roger Brooks – Back by popular demand, Roger is the opening program Tuesday morning and will showcase the power of tourism and 13 things attendees can do today to get a jump start on the tourism for the 21st century.

WIGCOT Now on Facebook
WIGCOT has joined Facebook! Like us for conference updates, news, fun information and to connect with other attendees.

DUE JANUARY 24: Nominations for 2014 Governor's Tourism Awards
Give a pat on the back to an outstanding tourism leader or organization by nominating them for a Governor's Tourism Award. With five categories from sustainability to rising star, these awards recognize and honor people and organizations that have made a significant impact on the state's tourism industry. The Governor will present the awards during the closing dinner at the conference. The deadline to submit nominations is January 24, 2014. More information, award categories and the online submission form are now live.

Governor's Tourism Awards Nominations – Due January 24, 2014
Early Bird Registration Deadline – January 31, 2014
Download Sponsorship Information

Joellyn Merz  
Technology & Customer Service   

Top of the page
Customer Service & Technology

Embed the Snow Conditions Report on your Website
In three easy steps, you can show a live feed of the Snow Conditions report on your website. Choose to show only your county or the whole report and keep travelers up-to-date on trail and ski conditions.

Spring-Summer Events Guide Hits the Stands
Over 500 events from April through September are highlighted in the 2014 edition of the Spring-Summer Events guide, which is now in print and available for distribution. Visitor and welcome centers interested in stocking the guides should contact Will Kuehn. Guides come in boxes of 50.

Calling all Extranet Partners – We’re Cleaning Up the CMS
If you haven't already updated your listings from an email in November, we’re asking you to review and update all your listings in the Extranet for the Places category including: Places to Stay, Dining, and Things to Do. This helps us provide accurate, complete listings on
  • Open business listings can be enhanced with photos, detailed descriptions, social links and adding the business contact information in our Administrative Contact section.
  • Any closed businesses can be archived.
How-To Videos are now available in the Extranet/Help section.
  • Want to know how to find an existing record, create a new record or archive a record in the Extranet? Just click "Help" in the left menu in the Extranet, then click "How-To Videos" to view tutorials for each process.
Questions? Please contact Linda Anderson-Drogsvold, 608-261-8212

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

Welcome New Tourism Staff – Christina
We're thrilled to welcome Christina Torkelson to the team! As a Marketing Specialist, Christina will focus her work in three areas: grants, Travel Green Wisconsin program development and international marketing. Christina was raised on a family farm in Monticello, Wisconsin, and is excited to share her passion for Wisconsin. You can reach Christina at 608-266-1238 or

International Marketing Committee
The committee has been busy preparing for International Pow Wow (IPW) held April 5-9 in Chicago. The committee developed a fun and eye-catching tradeshow booth to showcase all Wisconsin has to offer international travelers. In addition, a post-fam tour "Water, Water Everywhere" was chosen by IPW and takes media and tour operators to experience fun in Milwaukee, Madison and Lake Geneva.

Bird City Wisconsin Summit – March 21-22, 2014
The Bird City Wisconsin Summit is an annual meeting of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. Birds are valuable indicators of the health of the environment, both locally and globally, and add much to a community's quality of life. The summit includes a variety of breakout sessions, speakers, and networking focusing on conservation, education and celebration of birds. Learn more about the Bird City Wisconsin Summit.

Industry Accolades

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

2013 Earned Media Totals
We're thrilled to announce that 2013 was another great year for earned media. In 2013 we had over 1.3 million impressions and $64 million in earned media. A number of initiatives contributed to this success including media tours, celebrity star power, press releases, and other campaigns. Additionally, since our first tour in October 2010, the partnership with DMOs and Geiger PR resulted in more than $5.6 million in earned media nationwide.

Media Highlights
The clips keep rolling in! The Governor's Northwoods Summit received pickup including hits from local TV, and Secretary Klett's energizing December speech in Milton was covered. Additionally, CNN chose Taliesin as one of 50 spots for 2014, featured Full Circle Retreat in Viroqua on their list of wellness retreats, and the Kringle made its way into's annual travel quiz. Find more clips in our media room.

Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
Top of the page
Grant News

Grant Tip of the Month – Grant Advice Available at WIGCOT
Attending WIGCOT and have questions about writing a grant application? Schedule an appointment with Abbie Hill for March 2-4 to address your specific grant questions. Email for more information about this opportunity.

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines

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

Jason Zarling   
Program Manager    
Top of the page
Travel Green Wisconsin

Welcome New Travel Green Wisconsin Certified Businesses
  • Wisconsin Country Places

Travel Green Logo

George Tzougros  
Executive Director   
Top of the page
Arts Board

Do you have an arts project? Need funding? The Wisconsin Arts Board's Creative Communities grants program (CCP) encourages arts education and community arts development in Wisconsin. It provides support for projects that further the Arts Board's goals in the following three areas: Arts Education, Folk and Traditional Arts, and Local Arts. Projects must take place between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, to be considered for support. Submit a simple Phase 1 application by February 7. Find the application and guidelines at; click on "Grant Programs" and then click on "Creative Communities Grants."

Arts Board staff will offer two technical assistance sessions by phone for CCP applicants. Applicants can use this time to ask questions and hear other applicants' questions. To participate, dial 605-475-4875 and use the access code 600457#.

January 22, 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm
January 29, 5:00 pm - 5:45 pm

For questions contact:

Arts Education OR Folk and Traditional Arts
Anne Pryor:; 608.266.8106

Local Arts Development
Karen Goeschko:; 608.267.2006

2014 Strategic Plan
We’re coming to a community near you! Join the Arts Board at a town meeting to discuss the 2014 strategic plan.

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