Tag Archives: Tourism

5 Reasons Tourism in Wisconsin Rocks

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2018 by Kelsey

Vacations are today. Tourism is forever.

When people travel to Wisconsin, they adopt a more positive view of the state and all it has to offer. According to the Wisconsin Department of  Tourism, “Travelers who have visited Wisconsin in the past two years rate the state much higher than those who have not visited the state.” The positive sentiment and word-of-mouth marketing has potential to entice others to not just to travel, but live, work and start businesses in Wisconsin. When that happens, the impact of tourism reaches far beyond a one-time visit.

Tourism gives (spending) power to the people.

According to the state, tourism generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenues, saving taxpayers an average of $650 per household. With an extra $650, you could buy 36 tickets to a Brewers game, spend a weekend in the Dells, or buy 120 pounds of brats. In other words, Wisconsinites can thank tourists for a whole lot of fun.

Tourism supports your favorite restaurant.

Name your favorite Wisconsin pastimes. Odds are, eating and drinking make the list. You’ve got tourism to thank for that—the tourism economy supports 35% of all recreation jobs and 23% of all food & beverage jobs in Wisconsin. So next time you’re out at a restaurant with your friends after a day of fun, think of all the people who helped make your day awesome. Their jobs might not exist without tourism but, thanks to more than 100 million annual visitors, we’re able to continue enjoying cheese curds from the comfort of someone else’s kitchen.

Tourism employs people across industries.

Tourism supports many jobs in the recreation and food industries, but its operations extend into other businesses including manufacturing, printing, food and beverage suppliers, and business services. The Department of Tourism explains: “Tourism directly and indirectly supports 193,500 jobs in Wisconsin.” Without the industry’s contribution, the state’s unemployment rate would more than double to 10.1 percent.

Vacation is good for the soul, and it’s good for the economy too.

American workers are taking less time off of work than we used to, and it’s hurting businesses. According to the U.S. Travel Association and Project: Time Off, American workers reported taking just 16.2 days of vacation a year, almost a full week less than they did 20 years ago. This stockpile of unused paid leave contributes to worker burnout and even larger balance sheet liabilities that directly affect a company’s bottom line. Tourism means taking time off work to explore and, while you’re at it, spend money. That money keeps the economy rocking. So, take that extra week off. You deserve it.

Harnessing the Power of Pokémon Go

Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Kate

For tens of millions of users around the world, the augmented reality app Pokémon Go is a fun way to pass the time. But for local businesses and tourism officials, the craze is full of potential.

While it’s true you never know when a Pokémon might show up, the creatures are regularly found around landmarks, historical buildings and other places where visitors might patronize, like zoos, golf courses and museums. So it’s no surprise that local businesses and attractions are hoping to cash in on the craze.

Businesses near Pokestops are putting up signs touting their proximity to these virtual convenience stores where you can load up on free items like Pokeballs, potions, eggs and other items to help you on your journey. Some are even offering discounts for players in hopes of drawing them in for a tasty meal and a cool drink. Others are offering up their outlets and branding themselves as charging stations, since the app is notorious for draining batteries. Some have gone as far as spending real dollars to purchase “lures” that temporarily attract more Pokémon (and hopefully patrons) to their establishments.

Tourism expert Susanne Thiede-Barnet, co-principal of the Madison destination marketing firm Pilch & Barnet says for local businesses, this is an easy and affordable way to connect with potential customers. “Players are out wandering about and they’re encountering businesses they’ve never visited. Putting out a welcoming sign or offering a small discount costs virtually nothing, but to a hungry player looking for a place to take a break, that hospitality is going to result in a sale,” Thiede-Barnet said. “And when the game hype dies down, what remains is folks who’ve had a positive experience with a new local business are willing to come back again.”

Beyond the profit potential, Thiede-Barnet says local attractions are appreciating the breath of fresh air too. “People are visiting parks, hiking on trails that perhaps they’ve never thought to explore. They’re taking time to read historical marker signs and learn about their neighborhoods,” Thiede-Barnet noted. “People are realizing and remembering all these beautiful and interesting places right under their noses and that goes a long way in helping them feel invested in their communities.”

For businesses looking to hop on the marketing Poketrain, Thiede-Barnet has a few lost-cost suggestions:

  • Tout on social media that your business is Pokémon Go-friendly. Talk about any discounts you’re offering and which characters have been found nearby.
  • If you’re near a Pokestop or Pokémon gym, put a sign up making note of it and welcoming trainers.
  • For $1, you can purchase a 30-minute “lure” that attracts Pokémon to your area. Give your social media followers a heads-up and watch the potential customers roll in.

Link Friday: The Drone Video Edition

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016 by Kate

Drones have been around for a long time, but only recently have they become affordable to the general public. Prices, combined with the potential for some pretty impressive video, have a lot of businesses wondering, should I use a drone?

  • The drone industry is expected to go from a value of $3.3 billion to somewhere around $90 billion in the next 9 years, if that gives you any indication of expected popularity.
  • For resorts and hotels, it makes sense. Potential visitors love photos, videos and 360-degree virtual tours – a drone video of your property (especially if you have rooms with a view) like this one could be a great addition to your arsenal.
  • For destinations, if your area is particularly breathtaking from the air, or has a lot of interesting notable landmarks or the horizon, drone video is a great way to showcase them.
  • The potential for tourism videos is amazing. Here’s a really beautiful example done by Visit Norway.
  • So we know that drone video can be a powerful tool for tourism. The question remains, do you buy the drone and try to capture the video yourself or shell out the cash for a professional pilot? Remember, it takes time to master the skill of flying a drone, and there are a lot of rules you need to know about where you can and can’t fly.
  • Even if you get the hang of flying and learn all the rules, the video will still need to be edited. If you or your agency is proficient in video editing, you’re golden. If not, having a pro do the leg work is likely worth the money.

Link Friday: The Wellness Travel Edition

Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016 by Kate

According to recent studies, wellness tourism is a $494 billion business that just keeps growing.

  • Boomers started the wellness travel craze with their love for fancy spas, but GenXers and millennials aren’t about to let the trend die. In fact, they’re looking for a far wider range of options that cater to wellness.
  • Catering to wellness travelers once meant offering massages. Now it means a comprehensive, healthy, organic menu, more fitness amenities, adventurous activities, and even ways to find your Zen at the airport.
  • The wellness travel market is growing at a faster rate than travel in general, and it’s expected that by 2040, 90% of luxury travel will include an aspect of health and wellness. It’s a trend that’s not going away anytime soon.
  • So how do you take advantage of this trend and attract more wellness travelers? Start simple and use what you’ve got. Offer running maps of area trails to visitors; amend menus to include fresh, healthier options. Talk about ways to get active in your area during key times like New Year’s and leading into summer when interest is high, or play to the fitness tracker crowd, letting them know how many steps they can get walking your downtown or how many miles your best trails are.

Link Friday: The Terrorism & Travel Edition

Posted on Thursday, April 7, 2016 by Kate

Some big time travel destinations have been affected by terrorism lately, which begs the question, how is it affecting tourism?

Link Friday: The 2015 Christmas Edition

Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2015 by Kate

The countdown to Christmas is on – two weeks from today!

Link Friday: The Voluntourism Edition

Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2015 by Kate

Love to travel and love to help people too? Try “voluntourism!”

  • Here’s the official definition: “The conscious, seamlessly integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination and the best, traditional elements of travel – arts, culture, geography, history and recreation – in that destination.”
  • It’s estimated that 55% of American travelers took part in volunteer work during a vacation in the past two years. Hotels are finding ways to take advantage of the growing trend.
  • Voluntourism can mean spending time in an orphanage, tutoring and mentoring, or helping rebuild an area after a natural disaster – there’s no end to the ways you can contribute.
  • Travelocity has even started its own microsite, “Travel for Good,” where you can enter to win a free voluntourism trip of your choosing.
  • Voluntourism is not without criticism, however. Some claim it does more good for the volunteer, than the people they think they’re helping.

Link Friday: The Tourism Websites Edition

Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2015 by Kate

By now you know that a well-functioning, responsive, beautifully designed website is essential to your business. This is especially true for those of us promoting travel destinations. Let’s take a peek at some tourism websites sure to inspire you.

  • The Virunga National Park’s (in Africa) new website is gorgeous. It takes full advantage of well-lit, engaging photos, it’s easy to navigate and it puts visitor reviews front and center. Reviews are the big thing right now, so if you’ve got ‘em, use ‘em.
  • Less is more for Tennessee. Copy light and photo heavy, this website is images of one fun thing after another.
  • Travel Belize’s site literally unfolds as you scroll, revealing exciting adventures and leaving you wondering what will come next.
  • Using video as a website background can be super effective at selling a destination, when it’s done right. Australia’s landing page takes you on video adventures throughout the country, from dawn to dusk, before transitioning into a useful navigational tool that breaks the country into different regions to explore. Instead of continuing to scroll, you’ll be stopped in your tracks and end up watching the whole video, which equals more time on site per visit for them.

Link Friday: The Cuban Travel Edition

Posted on Friday, June 12, 2015 by Kate

For decades, U.S. citizens have been banned from traveling directly to Cuba and spending their tourism dollars there, but that’s all changing.

Link Friday: The 2015 Summer Travel Outlook

Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Kate

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer, so let’s take a look at the forecast for summer travel.