SPOONER -- Four counties along the Namekagon River are teaming up with the National Park Service to promote a marketing campaign aimed at bringing visitors to the area during the spring and fall seasons. With help from a $39,500 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, “Namekagon River: Wisconsin’s Moving National Park” will highlight the many outdoor recreation opportunities the Namekagon River offers throughout the year. The campaign will run through December 2018, concurrent with the 50th anniversary of the river being named a Wild & Scenic River.
“Research shows that travelers give Wisconsin high marks for outdoor recreation. We are thrilled to support this campaign, which will raise the profile of a nationally recognized river in the heart of the Northwoods,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “This grant will not only promote one of Wisconsin’s great assets, but will also create a positive economic impact across four counties in Northwestern Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin’s Moving National Park will focus on popular activities on the river, including kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Grant funds will go towards digital, print, social, outdoor and trade show marketing. The campaign is expected to attract over 2,250 tourists to the region, generating an estimated $193,000 in visitor spending to the area.
“We are excited for the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the Namekagon River, part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, during the 2018 year.” said Washburn County Tourism Association Executive Director Michelle Martin. “The Namekagon River is one of our greatest natural treasures in Northwest Wisconsin. We have a great team in place with representatives from Bayfield, Burnett, Sawyer and Washburn Counties, in addition to the National Park Service working together for this project. We appreciate the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s support to make this project possible.”
In 2016, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20 billion, a 3.5 percent increase from 2015. Tourism activity supports 193,500 jobs and the travel and hospitality industry has added 21,500 in employment opportunities for Wisconsin residents since 2010, a 12.4% increase. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue.
In fiscal 2017, the Department funded 61 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $34 million. JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project's first-year advertising and marketing costs, and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: www.travelwisconsin.com.