Latest News and Holiday Wishes

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wisconsin department of tourism
travel wisconsin news


Stephanie Klett

Hello Friends,

Last month, the Department of Tourism received its 100th marketing award! To celebrate, we gave away a bag of Wisconsin snacks to the first 100 travelers to stop by one of the eight Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers the day before Thanksgiving. It was a great way recognize and thank our visitors on the busiest travel day of the year.  I had a blast handing out treat bags at the Beloit Welcome Center and meeting visitors.  The whole thing was a huge hit and we look forward to doing something similar with the Welcome Centers next year.

Travelers are not the only ones on our mind this time of year, those in need are also in our thoughts.  This is the 7th year of the Big Bundle Up warm clothing drive. With your help, we have collected more than 103,400 items for those in need across Wisconsin.  A big shout out goes to Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Knitwear for their continued partnership in this program and their generous donations.  They have donated 8,000 hats to the program over the last five years. Thank you for helping us keep Wisconsin warm this winter! 

From all of us at the Department of Tourism, may you have a holiday season of joy and a 2018 filled with good health, happiness and fun.




Mark your calendars for WIGCOT 2018, March 11-13 at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Appleton. Lodging information is available on our Industry website.

Governor's Tourism Award Nominations

Do you know someone who has made a significant impact on the state's tourism industry? Nominate them for the Governor's Tourism Award. Sponsored by the Governor's Council on Tourism, the awards recognize individuals and businesses in the tourism industry that have shown dedication, creativity and excellence. Information, award descriptions and nomination forms can be found online. The nomination deadline is Friday, Jan. 19.  


Congratulations to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino on their new 180,000-sqaure-foot expansion project, which began earlier this month. The addition will be completed in the spring of 2019 and includes hotel rooms, a spa and meeting and event space. 


    Patrick J. Reinsma WIGCOT Memorial Scholarship

    Applications are open for the Patrick J. Reinsma Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship assists one individual in the tourism industry who would not be able attend WIGCOT due to financial restrictions. Click here for scholarship application and criteria. Deadline to apply is Feb. 2, 2018.

    Governor’s Trailblazer Awards

    Governor Scott Walker, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and the Wisconsin Women’s Council are seeking nominations for the 2018 Governor’s Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business. Visitors and Convention Bureaus, Chambers of Commerce and other local civic leaders are encouraged to nominate women-owned businesses in their area. Nomination forms and eligibility information can be found online. The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2017.

    Grant Updates

    January 1 is the deadline for Tourism’s Ready, Set, Go! Sports Marketing and Tourism Information Center (TIC) grants. Information and applications are available here


        Marketing & PR Awards

        Last month the Department received three Adrian Awards from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), which recognize creative brilliance and best practices in hospitality, travel, and tourism-related marketing. Travel Wisconsin received Gold for the launch of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, Silver for the Supper Club Integrated Campaign and Bronze for the Travel Wisconsin Supper Club Concessions Stand. Past Adrian Awards recipients include internationally recognized brands like Hilton, Marriott and Snapchat.

        Co-Op Advertising Opportunities

        Midwest Living: Due to the overwhelming success of the May/June WI co-op Insert Section, we have expanded the insert from 12 pages to 16 pages. This means we have two more pages of advertising! There are only a few more ½ and ¼ page ad spots available. Contact Kim Sommerfeldt at Midwest Living ( for more information.

        WTMJ Radio: Travel Wisconsin has renewed our partnership with WTMJ in Milwaukee, and will be accepting industry partners to participate in Saturday interviews. This is a great way to talk about your destination! Three partners will be accepted from each region on a first come, first served basis. For more information click here. To reserve your spot contact Sarah Keller at

        Travel Wisconsin Deals Program: Our updated Deals Program will help you advertise your promotions in a more effective way. With the launch of the new page, we’ve updated this co-op offering to drive more traffic to your site. Contact Sarah Keller at Laughlin Constable with questions.



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        vote here

        • Droppin' of the Carp
        • A polar bear plunge
        • The Big Cheese Drop
        • A local fireworks show

        Last Month's Result

        We asked how you stay warm when the weather gets cold and 63% of you voted for enjoying a beer at a microbrewery!