A Record-Breaking September

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A Record Breaking September
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Stephanie at Mt Rushmore

Dear Friends,


We had a record-breaking September!  Our Supper Club TV ad had 1 million online views – that’s more than any other TV commercial in the Department’s history. Thanks to the Fall Color Report and the Supper Club Showdown, TravelWisconsin.com also hit an all-time record for traffic in September with more than 1.2 million user sessions.  This traffic generated more than 171,000 click-throughs to our partner websites, an increase of 25% from last year.  From radio ads to digital, an overview of the entire fall campaign is available on the industry site.


I attended the Cen-States Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) conference in Rapid City, South Dakota last month.  Besides checking off a visit to Mt. Rushmore from my bucket list, I came home with a lot of good tourism research and trends on topics like marketing to the female traveler, measuring digital ROI and developing content strategies. We look forward to welcoming the Cen-States TTRA conference to Madison next year.


South Dakota Secretary of Tourism

On the earned media side of things, Wisconsin received international coverage from the Associated Press feature “Cheese Curds and Frank Lloyd Wright: Welcome to Wisconsin.”  The PR team helped AP Travel Editor Beth Harpaz coordinate visits to her long list of attractions.  With so many great destinations and too little time, Beth hopes to come back for a second visit. Keeping with our integrated campaign around the Supper Club TV spot, media pitching efforts resulted in the Chicago Tribune’s story “6 Supper Clubs Worth Tackling on the Way to Green Bay.” 


Please join me in welcoming new Executive Staff Assistant Charlene Malueg.  Charlene comes to Tourism with over 20 years of experience coordinating all aspects of an executive office along with various councils and boards.  Charlene is a Veteran and served in the U.S. Marines Corp.


There may still be leaves on the trees, but we are already thinking ahead to winter and that means the Big Bundle Up is back.  Now in its sixth year, we have watched this charitable campaign explode from collecting 3,900 warm clothing items for people in need in 2011 to more than 71,000 items last year.  The tremendous success of this initiative goes back to the creativity and commitment of our tourism partners.  We look forward to keeping this tradition going.  If you are interested in being a drop-off site, please contact Kristina LeVan at 608-266-0458.




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What kind of training does our industry need?

Business students at UW-La Crosse are conducting research to understand the needs and interest in training for employees working in the tourism industry.  As a tourism professional, your expertise can help guide the development of future programs.  Take this confidential six-minute survey to provide your insight.


2017 Consumer Tradeshows

The Department will participate in four consumer shows in 2017 to promote tourism in Wisconsin.  For a nominal fee and staffing assistance, DMO’s and associations can partner with us for a day in our booth to highlight your own community.  Please consider joining us at the following shows:

Space is limited. Contact your Regional Tourism Specialist for more details.




Upcoming Grant Deadlines:

  • November 1, 2017: Joint Effort Marketing Grant
  • January 1, 2017: Multicultural Grants, Tourist Information Center (TIC) Grants and Ready, Set, Go! Grants  

Submit your grant applications online at grants.travelwisconsin.com. Contact Heidi Roekle at hroekle@travelwisconsin.com  with questions.


Advertising in the Official Wisconsin Travel Guide

Due to high demand, we just reprinted 100,000 copies of the Official Travel Guide - an added bonus for advertisers!  A new guide will be printed in 2018 and ad sales will begin late 2017.  Keep this in mind as you plan your 2017 marketing budgets.



Many kudos to our industry partners this month:

  • Money magazine ranked Appleton, Wisconsin as the 24th best place to live in 2016.
  • Travelocity.com featured Door County as one of their “5 Not-To-Miss Fall Drives in the Midwest.”
  • Geneva National’s Hunt Club Steakhouse was recognized by Wine Spectator for their world class wine list. 

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Top TravelWisconsin.com Articles

Here are some of the most popular and shared articles and blog posts from September:


More Media Coverage


See more coverage in the Travel Wisconsin Media Room

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Wisconsin Department of Tourism  |  201 W Washington Ave  |  Madison, WI 53703  |  1-800-432-8747