Celebrating the Fall Travel Season

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wisconsin department of tourism
travel wisconsin news


Stephanie Klett

Dear Friends,

Team Tourism attended the U.S. Travel Association’s ESTO conference in Minneapolis last month.  We look forward to taking what we learned and applying it to our own marketing efforts. It was great to see our tourism friends from Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Green Bay, Eau Claire, Lake Geneva, Beloit and Racine at this year’s conference. Wisconsin was there in force!

One highlight of the conference was the annual marketing and advertising “Smackdown” for state agencies. Shane Brossard, our marketing director, presented our “This is a Wisconsin Supper Club” campaign in the friendly competition that included Wyoming, Virginia, Nebraska, Indiana, Utah and Oregon. Peers from other state tourism organizations voted for the best campaign and ours took first place!

I had the honor of welcoming Nelson Mandela's granddaughter, Princess of Swaziland, Her Royal Highness Celenhle Dlamini at the invitation of the Kalahari Resort.  Her work with the underprivileged, HIV/AIDS, the arts, women's rights and cultural exchanges for professional and economic growth is incredible.  We talked about domestic and international tourism and the partnership between her non-profit organization and the Kalahari Resort to bring 57 students from South Africa to live and work in Wisconsin Dells for a year.  We couldn’t share a lunch with the Princess without introducing her to our famous cheese curds.

Stephanie and Princess
Stephanie and Princess


Congratulations to the new Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) – Wisconsin Chapter! HSMAI provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue. For more information, contact Jen Yakimicki Guimon, HSMAI Wisconsin President.


    Upcoming Conferences

    Governor’s Small Business Summit: September 26, Rothschild

    Governor’s Northern Economic & Community Development Summit: October 25-26, Trego 

    WACVB Wisconsin Fall Tourism Conference: November 2-3, Racine

    Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show: November 5-7, Milwaukee

    Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association Annual Meeting: December 4-6, Lake Geneva

    Customer Service Training

    Take your outreach to the next level with the Department’s customer service training program. Choose full-day, half-day or one-hour sessions on six different topics. Find more information online.

    Grant Updates

    The Department’s 2017 grant report is now available. See the full report here.

    November 1 is the deadline for tourism’s Joint Effort Marketing grant. Information and applications are available online. Contact Grants Coordinator Heidi Schultz with any questions.


      Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown

      Travel Wisconsin is asking fall foliage fans to help pick this year’s best fall drive in Wisconsin. The Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown includes ten scenic routes throughout the state perfect for viewing fall colors. Vote for your favorite on TravelWisconsin.com until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 1.

      Fall Colors, Available While Supplies Last

      As the days get shorter and the air gets crisper, Wisconsin’s foliage comes to life with a dazzling display of vibrant color. Colors this stunning need an advertising campaign to match, and this year we’re celebrating the season bigger and better than ever before by mixing traditional print, digital and broadcast pieces with a larger-than-life physical reminder to get out and enjoy the colors before it’s too late. See the Fall Campaign here.

      Co-Op Advertising Opportunities

      Tourism is now offering expanded co-op advertising, with limited time and ongoing opportunities through 2017.

      Limited Time: Midwest Living - The Department will be placing a 12-page insert into the 2018 May/June and September/October issues. Seven pages of content are available for industry partners.

      Ongoing: Deals - Our updated Deals Program will help you advertise your deals in a more effective way. With the launch of the new TravelWisconsin.com/Deals page, we’ve updated this co-op offering, ultimately driving more traffic to your site for consumers to book their stays.

      More information is available online. Contact Sarah Keller at Laughlin Constable with question.

      Hot Off the Press:  The Fall/Winter Events Guide

      The annual Fall/Winter Events Guide is now available.  Call 1-800-432-TRIP or email tourinfo@travelwisconsin.com to order in quantity.


      Cheese Curds

      Wisconsin's Top Stops for Cheese Curds

      Lake Views

      8 Wisconsin Supper Clubs with Gorgeous Lake Views


      Flamingos to Spies: 5 Themed Wisconsin Restaurants


      • Fall Colors Comet Sky Ride
      • Roche-A-Cri State Park
      • Holy Hill National Shrine
      • Whistling Straits

      vote here

      Last Month's Result

      Last month’s poll asked, “What’s your favorite kind of fall festival in Wisconsin?” The results are in, and 42% said Fall Harvest Fests. Oktoberfests came in second with 32%, followed by apples fests (16%) and cranberry festivals (10%).