Destinations Wisconsin presented the 2020 Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer awards to Baileys Harbor Community Association, Destination Door County, Destination Madison, and the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau for outstanding marketing and partnership efforts.
Baileys Harbor Community Association received the Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer Award in the under $25,000 Outstanding Marketing Campaign category for the Weather or Nots Video Campaign. The goal of the campaign was to bring awareness to Covid-19 issues facing this destination and communicate the ways this community would reopen and move forward through the pandemic. This organization compiled short, humorous videos paired with educational talking points to communicate with locals and visitors everything from social distancing practices to curbside pickup etiquette to masking up, and, a weather report, as it usually becomes a point in every conversation. The videos reached over 51,000 people with nearly 27,000 views and more than 1600 reactions on the organizations’ Facebook page.
Destination Madison received the Trailblazer Award in the $25,000 -$50,000 Marketing Campaign category for the Explore Madison Outdoors campaign. This campaign aimed to keep this destination top of mind for residents and regional visitors during COVID-19. It showcased how to safely explore the outdoors and support the local economy.
The campaign more than doubled the campaign’s website visitation goal with over 28,000 pageviews. There were large increases in social media engagement, gaining nearly three times the average amount of new monthly Facebook and Instagram followers. Through digital ads, nearly 300 confirmed flights and 440 booked hotel room nights occurred. Destination Madison successfully partnered with several local communities, promoted local businesses, and showed how to safely explore the Madison area during the pandemic.
Destination Door County received the Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer Award for the Regional Collaboration Outstanding Partnership category for the Pandemic Public Information Campaign. The organization spearheaded a public information campaign reminding both visitors and residents to take ongoing precautions to keep Door County open during the 2020 tourism season. Destination Door County helped establish, and promote, a commitment to cleanliness and safety initiative that provided guidance for businesses, organizations and the public. The initiative asked businesses to make a pledge to follow specific safety guidelines. They also implemented a robust local public messaging campaign utilizing local media, out of home avenues, posters, digital media, a Covid-19 Travel Updates web page that received over 168,000 pageviews and a Travel Safely video that had over 26,000 views. Destination Door County’s collaborative effort with health and local officials helped tourism in in this destination perform significantly better than was anticipated when the pandemic began, and helped keep COVID-19 infection rates comparatively low in their destination.
Fox Cities Convention and Visitor Bureau received the Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer Award in the Destination Development Outstanding Partnership category. The Appleton area determined a need for an indoor sports facility to drive more winter weekend hotel stays. To meet this need, ten area municipalities agreed to form a Tourism Zone to fund an Exhibition Center and a sports facility. One of the municipalities, Grand Chute, donated land for the project and helped lead the financing and construction of the project. The Fox Cities CVB convened several taskforces focusing on financing, building and operating the sports facility and helped ensure that the facility’s mission of generating tourism first was met. The partnership delivered one of the Midwest’s top indoor sports complex, opening last November. Despite operating under pandemic-induced limitations, the facility has successfully hosted 37 events that have led to over 7,000 hotel room nights and $2.2 million of direct visitor spending.
Destinations Wisconsin presents the Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazers awards each year during the Wisconsin Fall Tourism Conference in an effort to increase the visibility of Wisconsin’s tourism industry and destination marketing organizations. The awards recognize Wisconsin tourism organizations for outstanding marketing and partnership efforts. Destinations Wisconsin represents 40 Wisconsin's destination marketing organizations and initiates cooperative ventures that strengthen Wisconsin's tourism industry.