Travel Wisconsin 2017 Campaign

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Published by Milwaukee Business Journal, written by Dan Shafer, Reporter, March 13,2017

Travel Wisconsin is putting “fun” front and center in its new ad campaign.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism unveiled its new marketing campaign Monday at the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee. The conference is in Milwaukee for the first time in seven years.

The “Real Fun” campaign began last year, and showcases the stories of individuals enjoying traditions and outdoor activities in Wisconsin. The new commercials — Traditions, Cell Phones and Fall Colors are available on the Travel Wisconsin YouTube page, and feature the Thompson family, who has been visiting Black’s Cliff Resort in Hazelhurst for nearly six decades.

“Travel Wisconsin’s brand is all about fun,” said Stephanie Klett, tourism secretary. “Last year we put an authentic spin on our brand by showcasing real Wisconsin experiences travelers can enjoy when visiting the state. We’re thrilled to take that idea one step further by telling the story of a real family who has been visiting the state for almost 60 years, and highlighting just a few of our colorful fall destinations.”

Other new videos include a ” Charter Fishing Story,” a ” Wisconsin Dells Water Park Story,” and a ” Madison, Wisconsin Romantic Getaway Story.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker spoke to around 900 tourism industry representatives from around the state in Milwaukee to debut the campaign along with Klett.

“Tourism has a more than $19 billion impact on the economy in Wisconsin — that’s up 30 percent over five years,” he said. “More than 190,000 jobs depend on tourism.”

The $19 billion is a 2015 estimate calculated by hospitality industry consultant Longwoods, said Margaret Casey, spokesperson for Visit Milwaukee.

According to the governor’s office, the total five-year growth of tourism activity is up more than $4.5 billion, a 30 percent increase from $14.8 billion. Tourism supports nearly 190,717 jobs throughout the state, adding more than 18,700 jobs to the state’s total employment since 2011. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue, thus saving taxpayers $640 per household. The 2016 tourism economic impact figures will be available in May.

The summer campaign includes radio spots, print ads, digital and social media, and public relations, said Travel Wisconsin.

New this year, the campaign will run in the St. Louis market. The market was selected based on new digital data that showed high interest in Wisconsin from visitors in the St. Louis area. Stats showed that last year people in St. Louis spent 25 percent more time on TravelWisconsin.com and visited 15 percent more pages than the average site visitor. The summer campaign also will run in key Midwest markets, such as Chicago, the Twin Cities and Milwaukee beginning May 1.

The Department of Tourism also debuted its 2017 fall TV spot at the conference. For the first time, drone footage was used in a Travel Wisconsin commercial to showcase the state’s fall foliage. The commercial, which was shot last fall, begins with close ups of people enjoying Wisconsin activities, then zooms out to a panorama of stunning fall color. Destinations and activities featured include hiking at Roche-A-Cri State Park in Friendship, viewing foliage from atop Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary in Hubertus, golfing at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan and riding the fall chairlift at Granite Peak in Wausau.

The new campaign does not specifically feature the city of Milwaukee.

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