Dept. of Tourism: Ice Age Trail Alliance receives $38,650 tourism marketing grant

MEDIA CONTACT:

Danielle Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

608-266-0458; [email protected]

Mike Wollmer, Ice Age Trail Alliance

608-798-4460; [email protected]

Organization looks to brand and market the thousand mile trail

CROSS PLAINS, Wis. – (Sept. 6, 2012) – The Ice Age Trail Alliance begins a project to research and market the Ice Age National Scenic Trail with the help of a $38,650 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Department of Tourism. Presented by Regional Tourism Specialist Patrick Reinsma, this Year-1 Destination Marketing grant will allow the Ice Age Trail Alliance to implement research to better understand the wants and needs current trail users, with the goal of developing and marketing the trail to attract new users.

“Running through 31 counties and 21 communities across Wisconsin, the Ice Age Trail is a true Wisconsin gem that highlights the state’s beautiful landscapes and provides access to wonderful places explore along the way,” said Secretary Stephanie Klett. “This is the perfect opportunity for businesses and communities along the thousand mile trail to develop a brand to better market all the terrific opportunities the trail offers, which will result in positive economic impact for the whole area.”

The Year-1 goals are to review and revise the existing brand of the Ice Age Trail and conduct quantitative and qualitative research to better understand trail users. Based on the research, the brand will be re-evaluated and revised and itineraries will be developed to promote a variety of activities and things to do along the trail. From there, marketing strategies will be implemented to advocate current trail users rediscover the trail and attract new trail users.

In fiscal year 2012, the Department funded 53 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of nearly $1.2 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $20 million.

“The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is one of Wisconsin’s most remarkable, yet silent, of resources,” said Mike Wollmer, executive director of the Ice Age Trail Alliance. “JEM grant funding and the partnership with the Department of Tourism will assist the Alliance in attracting Wisconsin residents and out-of-state tourists to the countless, remarkable natural resources strung along the Trail.”

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 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 http://www.travelwisconsin.com.