WACVB: Announces Winners of the 2005 Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer Awards

For more information, contact Julia Hertel at 608/837-6693 or [email protected]

Sturgeon Bay – (Tuesday, November 8, 2005) The Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (WACVB) today awarded presented the 2005 Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer award to Tom Poberezny, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) President and CEO, for his role in promoting and advancing Wisconsin’s tourism industry.

Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Jim Holperin presented the award to Poberezny during the WACVB’s 2005 Wisconsin Fall Tourism Convention in Sturgeon Bay on Friday, November 4. Holperin also presented awards to three tourism organizations for outstanding marketing efforts.

Poberezny received the award for his outstanding work at the EAA, particularly for his role as chairman of the annual EAA AirVenture Fly-In Convention. During his 25-year tenure, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh has grown to be the world’s largest annual aviation event, attracting an attendance of 750,000 from 68 nations and 10,000 airplanes for one spectacular week every summer.

“We are pleased to recognize Tom for his great leadership at EAA,” WACVB Chair Karen Raymore said. EAA AirVenture and the EAA Aviation Center headquarters and museum complex have generated millions of dollars in economic impact for eastern Wisconsin and, just as importantly, have brought tremendous international attention to our entire state.

Poberezny joins a prestigious group of past Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer award recipients including former Governor’s Council on Tourism chair and Tommy Bartlett president Tom Diehl, former Governor Tommy Thompson, Kohler Company CEO Herb Kohler and Wisconsin Restaurant Association President Ed Lump.

Tourism organizations also receiving Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer awards for their marketing efforts were:

q Visit Beloit for Outstanding Marketing or Communication Initiative with a budget under $25,000 for the “Let’s Play in Beloit” marketing campaign. The promotion was an effort to cost-effectively advertise seasonal events utilizing positive creative, increase event attendance and overnight lodging stays. The campaign helped summer event attendance to increase 10% over the previous year and survey results to lodging properties showed an increase in lodging stays due to event attendance. The event also led to improved local participation and support in a cohesive, branded message.

q Door County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau for Outstanding Marketing or Communication Initiative with a budget over $25,000 for the “A Kingdom So Delicious” campaign. The campaign was an effort to market Door County to Cuisine Travelers during the slower travel month of June. The campaign used a passport with a map that promoted new culinary events with existing ones such as a fish boil competition and cooking demonstrations. The campaign helped to generate a 7 percent increase in June occupancy and an 8% increase in traffic counts to the county. More than 82,000 passports were downloaded off the Chamber’s Web site in May and June and 800 people from 20 countries entered a passport contest.

q Greater Madison Convention and Visitor Bureau for Outstanding for Outstanding Sponsorship or Partnership for the Outdoor Writers of America Association Conference. The Greater Madison CVB needed to raise $50,000 in sponsorship dollars to host the OWAA Conference. The bureau developed unique sponsorship opportunities, including exposure in a Travel Wisconsin tour book and CD, to targeted organizations. The bureau generated $56,000 in sponsorship dollars and received high praise from OWAA organizers for hosting an excellent conference.

WACVB sponsors the Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazers awards each year during the Wisconsin Fall Tourism Convention in an effort to increase the visibility of Wisconsin’s tourism industry and destination marketing organizations.