Tourism Receives Additional Marketing Funds

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wisconsin department of tourism
travel wisconsin news


Dear tourism friend,  

Happy Autumn! It’s been a very productive past few weeks, and we’re pleased to see significant progress in several areas of focus.

On Sept. 4, the Joint Committee on Finance approved additional marketing funds for the Department of Tourism. We’ll receive $781,800 per year for the remainder of the biennium. Securing additional funding ensures organizational success and allows us to increase visitor spending by promoting Wisconsin as a top travel destination in three new markets, one with year-round advertising and two additional markets for seasonal ads.

After a competitive review of Integrated Marketing Request for Proposals, we are excited to announce that the department named three new agencies of record to lead our brand strategy, advertising, public relations and web development. Hiebing, Turner and Simpleview will begin working with our team this fall. Each shared innovative and inspiring ideas for the future of tourism in Wisconsin, and we look forward to partnering with them to drive economic impact, elevate the Wisconsin brand and foster a positive experience for all travelers. Read more about each agency here.

I’m also pleased to share that the Senate Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development approved my confirmation vote for the Department of Tourism, which now awaits a vote of the full State Senate.

We continue to seek knowledgeable and passionate individuals to serve on our Wisconsin Department of Tourism Advisory Committees. The committees guide our efforts in marketing, grant, meetings & conventions, sports marketing, outdoor recreation, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and will provide input on the many ways we can engage partners across the state in our shared goals and vision. Each committee is chaired by a member of the Governor’s Council on Tourism and includes select at-large members. Individuals interested in serving are asked to submit a cover letter, resume and references to


Sara Signature


We asked. You answered. Here’s what travelers had to say about their Wisconsin Curiosity Challenge:

“Had fun at Swiss Heritage days and really enjoyed our stay at the Hotel de Ville. Everyone should check out Alma!”

 – Explore La Crosse Executive Director AJ Frels, postcard from Alma

“Visit your own backyard! That’s what 44 travelers from National Exchange Bank did with a visit to the Paine Art & Gardens in Oshkosh, WI. So close to home but most have never taken time to visit. What a surprise to see the gardens and home, and learn the history of this great backyard gem!”

 – Janet J., postcard from the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh


Upcoming Conferences and Shows

Wisconsin Bike Summit: October 4-5, Wausau

WACVB Fall Tourism Conference: November 7-8, Manitowoc

Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association Conference & Innkeeper Trade Show: November 12-13, Madison


Summer Campaign Overview

Summer is nearly over and results from our summer campaign are rolling in. July beat the all-time record for monthly site traffic on – and we haven’t slowed down since. We saw growth in web sessions from social (+93%), paid search (+51%) and display (+68%), resulting in web sessions being up 13.8% overall year-over-year (YOY). Total summer arrivals are up 12% YOY. With summer campaign arrivals being up 22% YOY.

Fall Color Report Now Live

The Fall Color Report is back and better than ever with a brand-new look. The updated report includes exciting new features, such as:

  • Current temperature conditions and a 3-day weather forecast specific to location
  • Activity icons linking to directories with nearby events, things to do, places to stay, and dining options specific to location
  • Easier page navigation and a cleaner appearance

2020 Publications 

We’re partnering with Madden Media on five publications that will be released in early 2020: State Parks Guide, Bike Guide, Art & Craft Fairs Guide, Spring/Summer Event Guide, and Travel Guide. We are working closely with Madden Media to develop new content, refresh layouts and ensure the publications become a family of guides produced by Travel Wisconsin. For questions and advertising information, contact Cheryl Touhy at Madden Media at


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