Family Fun Passport offered in Wisconsin

LAONA, Wis. – For the first time ever, six counties covering over 100,000 square miles in northeastern Wisconsin are partnering together for a tourism project, the Family Fun Passport.

The project is partially funded by a $20,540 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Destination Marketing program, which allows tourism organizations to create branding projects for their region.

The Family Fun Passport is designed to draw visitors to iconic museums and venues in northeastern Wisconsin while simultaneously gathering data to increase knowledge about their visitor base in the region.

The project is estimated to have an economic impact of $3.5 million from traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants and stores.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be supporting this outstanding collaboration among these six counties to build a lasting brand for their area,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “The Family Fun Passport is an excellent example of how destinations can pool resources to showcase the strengths in their region and attract more visitors.”

In fiscal 2014, the Department funded 60 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $28 million dollars.

In 2014, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $18.5 billion, a more than five percent increase over 2013. The combined traveler spending in these six counties is almost $739 million supporting over 5700 jobs and $56 million in state and local revenue.

Northeastern Wisconsin museums and tourism venues invite visitors to get more involved with the history of their state by participating in their brand new Family Fun Passport program.

Over 14 destinations will distribute 4,000 passports over the course of the summer season in Florence, Forest, Langlade, Oconto, Oneida and Vilas counties.

Visitors are encouraged to collect as many “stamps” on their Family Fun Passports as possible. In addition, visitors can access the passport via their smartphones through a mobile application.

Participants in the Family Fun Passport Program will also be able to enter for a chance to win a two night stay at the Potawatomi Casino and Hotel. Grant funds will go towards print and online promotional efforts.

“The best part of this project is the visitors who will be part of the historic ‘Sawdust Trail’ when they visit the 14 participating museums,” said Sara W. Connor, executive director of Camp 5 Museum/Wisconsin Forestry Museum.

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 provides support for second and third year projects, but with decreasing amounts for funding each year until projects become self-sustaining.

For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit 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. The portal for traveler information can be found at: www.travelwisconsin.com.


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