Travel Wisconsin Goes National for Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago

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wisconsin department of tourism
travel wisconsin news


Stephanie Klett

Dear Friends,

The Governor’s Council on Tourism held its quarterly meeting in La Crosse this month. The Council had a strategic discussion about big issues facing the tourism industry, including funding challenges at the county and local level and workforce development.  It was a productive conversation and both topics will continue to be on the top of the Council’s agenda going forward.

We kicked-off the Big Bundle Up at the La Crosse Area Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center with a donation of 500 hats to the Family and Children’s Center.  A big thank you to Wisconsin Knitwear for donating the hats. The last six years, Wisconsin Knitwear has provided a total of 10,400 knit hats to the Big Bundle Up. We are grateful for their partnership.

The Department recently received five Adrian Awards from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), including two Gold awards for our integrated fall marketing campaign and our Instagram influencer program. This year, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism has received 21 awards for marketing and public relations excellence, for a total of 125 awards since 2011.

Travel Wisconsin spread friendship, warmth and good cheer through downtown Chicago during Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade was broadcast nationally on WGN America, with 3.6 million tuning in to see Travel Wisconsin’s Gemütlichkeit float and our very special brand of fun!



It’s history in the making for the Lumberjack Bowl in Hayward! It was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing the state’s rich history of the logging industry and the importance of lumberjack sports. The Bowl has been home to lumberjack sports for nearly 60 years, including the popular Lumberjack World Championships.

Congratulations to this year’s WACVB Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer award winners! The awards recognize Wisconsin tourism organizations for outstanding marketing and partnership initiatives. Winners were announced at the WACVB Fall Tourism Conference in Stevens Point and include:

  • Under $25,000 Marketing Campaign: Explore La Crosse for the “Local Stuff Backpack” giveaway.
  • $25,000-$50,000 Marketing Campaign: VISIT Lake Geneva for “Spring Break in Lake Geneva”
  • Over $50,000 Marketing Campaign: Madison Area Sports Commission for “Bucky on Parade”
  • Outstanding Partnerships: Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau for the “Essential Madison Experiences” project


Governor's Tourism Award Nominations

Do you know someone who’s 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. 18, 2019.

Upcoming Conferences

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting & YFA Conference: Nov. 30 – Dec. 3, Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association Annual Conference & Innkeeper Tradeshow: Dec. 3-5, La Crosse

Mark your calendars for WIGCOT 2019, March 17-19 at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Grant Updates

December 1 is the deadline to apply for Meetings Mean Business (MMB) grants. Information and applications are available here.


Snow Conditions Report Goes Live with New Look

The Snow Conditions Report is back and better than ever! The report has been refreshed with a cleaner visual appearance, easier page navigation, current temperature conditions, a three-day destination-based weather forecast, and icons linking to directories with nearby events, activities, accommodations and dining options. Check out the new Snow Conditions Report here.

Marketing Co-Op Opportunity

Stay tuned! A new co-op opportunity is coming your way in December. Look for additional information via email from Cheryl Touhy at Madden Media ( and posted to the industry website.  Don’t forget to check out other co-op opportunities as you develop your 2019 marketing budget.

Road to the Ryder Cup Sweepstakes Running Now

The road to the 2020 Ryder Cup leads to iconic Whistling Straits on the majestic shores of Lake Michigan. Tee off for the big tournament with Travel Wisconsin’s Road to Ryder Cup Sweepstakes. One lucky golf fan will win:

  • Two (2) International Pavilion tickets for Sunday’s Ryder Cup singles matches
  • A swag bag full of 2020 Ryder Cup merchandise, including golf shirts, hats and golf balls
  • $250 dining gift card for use at restaurant in the Sheboygan area

Here’s how to enter:



5 Scenic Fall Train Rides in Wisconsin


11 Scenic Drives During Fall in Wisconsin


5 Wisconsin Cabins for Autumn in the Baraboo Hills


  • Flying down the ski hill
  • Gliding on the cross-country ski trails
  • Cruising on a snowmobile
  • Racing your fat tire bike

vote here

In honor of Halloween, last month we asked how you like to be spooked in Wisconsin? The results are in, and it’s a tie between touring haunted, historic houses and Boo at the Zoo events.