New Ad Campaign Welcomes Visitors to Experience Fun in Wisconsin

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wisconsin department of tourism
travel wisconsin news


Stephanie Klett

Hello Friends,

From polka dancing at the opening reception to my comedian brother Fred at the closing dinner, I hope you had as much fun at WIGCOT as I did! Thanks to the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Fox Cities Exhibition Center, Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau and all our sponsors for making this happen.

One of the highlights of the conference was the launch of our latest ad campaign.  This year we unveiled two unique TV commercials – one featuring UW-Whitewater alum, wheelchair basketball star and Paralympic gold medalist Matt Scott enjoying some of his favorite things to do in Wisconsin, and the other shining the spotlight on Gemutlichkeit, a German word that describes the spirit of Wisconsin and the friendship, warmth and good cheer travelers feel when visiting the state.  While the TV spots are distinct, one thing rings true in both – Wisconsin welcomes visitors to experience fun in the state. 

We welcomed Alyssa Dreher to the Department of Tourism this month.  A graduate of UW-Madison, she is our new Digital Content Specialist, managing the content management system and assisting with website design projects.

Now that the conference is over, we turn our attention to the busy spring ahead.  We will release our annual economic impact study in early May.  More information to come on our plans for National Tourism & Travel Week!


Matt Scott and Stephanie
Tourism Team


Thirty-eight nominees for The Governor’s Tourism Awards were recognized at this year’s conference. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

  • Legacy Award – Kathy Kopp, Executive Director, Platteville Regional Chamber
  • Rising Star Award – Amy Gabay, Director of Membership & Grants, Explore La Crosse 
  • Stewardship Award – Milwaukee County Zoo
  • Service Excellence Award – Ben Popp, Executive Director, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation
  • Arts, Culture and Heritage – Taliesin Preservation
    WIGCOT Icon


    Governor’s Gala and Awards Celebration Photos

    Photos from Tuesday’s closing dinner will be posted soon! In the meantime, take a look back at the rest of this year's conference here

    Save the Date: WIGCOT 2019

    Mark your calendars and reserve your room for WIGCOT 2019, March 17-19 at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Wisconsin Dells. Overnight accommodations can be arranged at the following hotels:

    Kalahari Resorts & Conventions – (877) 525-2427

    $129-$699 (rooms range from 2 queen beds to 5-bedroom entertainment villas)

    Note: Mention WIGCOT at time of booking. A deposit of first nigh room + tax is required when booking

    Ho-Chunk Gaming, Wisconsin Dells – (800) 746-2486

    $109, flat rate

    Note: Mention WIGCOT 2019 at time of booking

    Alakai Hotel & Suites – (608) 253-3803

    $69, flat rate

    Note: Mention GC at time of booking

    Hampton Inn & Suites – (608) 678-2727

    $89, flat rate

    Note: Mention GCT at time of booking

    Holiday Inn Express – (608) 253-3000

    $79, flat rate

    Note: Reservation block opens April 5, mention CVB Conference rate at time of booking)

    Wintergreen Resort & Conference Center – (800) 645-4768

    $75, flat rate

    Note: Mention Governor’s Conference at the time of booking

    Tourism Week Icon


    The Department will release the 2017 economic impact of tourism research report in conjunction with National Tourism Week (May 6-12). Stay tuned for more information from your Regional Tourism Specialist and our public relations team.


    Upcoming Conferences

    Wisconsin Bike Expo

    The Department will exhibit at the 2018 Wisconsin Bike Expo, April 5-8, 2018 at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Expo Center in West Allis. This is your opportunity to meet 15,000+ bicycle enthusiasts from around the region to talk about biking in your community. For partnership opportunities, please contact David Spiegelberg at or 262-515-2806. For exhibiting information contact Amelia Kegel at 414-529-6600x3.

    Grant Updates

    April 1 is the deadline to apply for a Joint Effort Marketing (JEM); Destination Marketing; Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) and Meetings Mean Business grant. Information and applications are available here.


        Summer 2018 Marketing Campaign

        Our first summer campaign hitting the market will feature Paralympian Matt Scott. We’ve tapped into Matt’s energy and enthusiasm to show that there’s a million ways to have fun in Wisconsin and no reason not to. This campaign will run during March and April with TV and Radio. For more information on this campaign check out our campaign assets page here.

        Travel Wisconsin Fun Finder

        We launched the brand new Fun Finder on The tool allows users to create a trip based on six different themes – Arts & Culture, Outdoor Adventure, Can’t Miss, Family Fun, Food Paradise and Off the Beaten Path. From there, users choose a date and a region of the state before they’re given a randomized city to visit and a trip itinerary unique to that destination.

        Travel Wisconsin Co-Op Program

        We are pleased to continue our co-op program opportunities in 2018. These programs pool the resources of the Department and individual advertisers to generate a more powerful Wisconsin travel message. Ongoing programs that we will be offering this year include deals, social, email and digital ads. For more information on our co-op opportunities click here.



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        • Botanical Garden
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        vote here

        Last Month's Result

        Last month we asked what you were most looking forward to at WIGCOT. “Seeing tourism partners” topped the list with 83% of the votes.