/ Articles / The Northwoods of Wisconsin Tourism Group awarded State Joint Effort Marketing Grant
Department of Tourism grant worth nearly $40,000 will help promote area in the wake of COVID-19
The Northwoods of Wisconsin is launching a campaign to safely welcome visitors back to the northern part of the state, thanks to a $39,550 Joint Effort Marketing Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
The seven counties that make up The Northwoods of Wisconsin marketing consortium group, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Price and Vilas, brought in more than $647 million in visitor spending to the state in 2019, but since the coronavirus pandemic, have seen decreased spending and drops in occupancy rates for hotels and resorts. The grant will allow the counties to work together to execute a cohesive marketing plan that encourages visitors to safely enjoy the plentiful outdoor recreation options in the area, as people begin to travel again.
“We’re so grateful to the Department of Tourism for this helping hand” said Krystal Westfahl, executive director of the Let’s Minocqua Visitors Bureau + Chamber of Commerce and chair of The Northwoods of Wisconsin consortium. “We’re preparing to welcome people back to our communities, and this allows us an opportunity to reach new markets together. Our visitors don’t see county lines, they just see beautiful trails, lakes and rivers that blend into the fabric that is the Northwoods. We know that we’re stronger together and our visitors feel that sense of cooperation. We look forward to rebounding together.”
“Seeing The Northwoods of Wisconsin communities collaborate to support one another shows the impact we can have when we work together,” tourism secretary-designee Sara Meaney said. “There’s something magical about exploring remote forest trails, lakes and rivers, and we can’t wait to help people make their way to the Northwoods, when the time is right.”
The marketing push is underway now and will run through October. It hopes to mitigate heavy losses to room tax collection and revenue from canceled events by promoting safe travel options to potential visitors.
With the state grant dollars, The Northwoods of Wisconsin will work to grow its social media presence on Facebook, start its own Instagram channel and advertise through the Department of Tourism. It also plans to launch two giveaways, which will not only help grow social media channels and boost visibility for the region, but aim to create buzz and excitement around the area as entrants vie for a chance to win a Northwoods getaway.
The plan builds on the already launched #WeLovetheNorthwoods campaign on social media, which encourages users to share their up north photos using the aforementioned hashtag, along with Instagram story stickers and a Facebook profile frame to show fans’ Northwoods pride. The group also created WeLovetheNorthwoods.com, a hub site for towns to share community news and plans about re-opening.
Every year, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism awards JEM grants to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75% of a project’s first-year advertising and marketing costs and provide support for second-and third-year projects to help the project become self-sustaining.
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