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Door County Celebrates National Tourism Week

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Tourism Spending Topped $366 Million in Door County Last Year Visitor spending in Door County was up $8.1 million dollars last year according to a report released by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The publication of the state’s 2018 tourism economic impact report coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs from May 5-11, 2019. Door County visitors spent $366.6 million in 2018, an increase of 2.26% over the $358.5 million dollars spent by visitors in 2017. Overall visitor spending in Wisconsin totaled $13.3 billion last year, according to the annual economic impact study prepared for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism by Tourism Economics. That’s a statewide increase of 4.86% compared to the $12.7 billion visitors spent in Wisconsin in 2017. In Door County, the $366.6 million in direct visitor spending last year supported jobs for 3,237 people, and provided $81.2 million in wages for those year-round and seasonal residents that work in the county’s tourism industry. Visitor spending also

generated $38.8 million in state and local taxes. Total business sales from tourism, which includes direct and indirect spending, totaled $469 million in 2018, an increase of 2.71% over the previous year. Jack Moneypenny, President and CEO of the Door County Visitor Bureau (DCVB), said the annual economic impact figures continue to show how vital the travel industry is to the state of Wisconsin and to Door County. “We are pleased to see the tenth consecutive year of visitor spending growth in Door County, and along with it, the positive impact these dollars have on our residents and all 19 of the communities we live in here,” Moneypenny said. Between the employee wages generated for residents and the taxes generated by visitors, tourism’s economic importance to those that call Door County home is profound. If it weren’t for the tax revenue generated by tourism spending, each

household in the U.S. would pay $1,340.00 more in taxes each year. In Door County, the incremental growth in annual tourism spending over the past ten years totals $109.5 million, a 42.59% increase since 2009. Room tax collections increased 60.31% during that same time span, from $3.05 million in 2009 to $4.89 million last year. 2009 is a notable year as it was the first year that all 19 of Door County’s municipalities were part of the Door County Tourism Zone. Door County ranked 7th among the state’s 72 counties in visitor spending last year with Milwaukee County topping the list followed by Dane, Sauk, Waukesha, Brown and Walworth counties. Tourism is the primary economic driver for Door County, and Moneypenny says the DCVB continues to work on new and innovative ways to promote the destination to travelers around the world.

Welcome to National Travel & Tourism Week 2019 by Jack Moneypenny — ­President/CEO Door County Visitor Bureau As we move forward into the coming years it is imperative that we understand why travel matters. How does it affect our towns, villages, cities and destinations? How does it affect the family unit and the time we spend together? Established in 1983 by President Reagan, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is the annual salute to travel in America. It is during the first full week in May when communities nationwide unite around a common theme to showcase travel’s contributions to the economy and American jobs. This year, the travel industry is coming together to celebrate why “Travel Matters,” spotlighting different ways travel matters to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. Travel matters to the economy. Travel generated $2.5 trillion for the U.S. economy in 2018 across all U.S. industries. Tax revenue from travel spending for federal, state and local governments totaled $171 billion in 2018. Without these travel-generated tax revenues, each household would pay an average of $1,340 more in taxes every year to maintain the same level of services. One of the best-performing U.S. exports largely flew under the radar: inbound travel, which generates a $69 billion trade surplus for America’s economy. Here in Door County, the travel industry generated $366.6 million in tourism spending last year. Travel matters to our new experiences. From our national parks to our diverse cities and our scenic small towns, travel is uniquely made in America offering unique

experiences for every traveler. Regardless of age, when asked what they would put on a bucket list of things they wish to accomplish, 88 percent of Americans placed traveling to new places at the very top. More than twothirds (72%) of American adults would rather spend money on experiences than things. Travel matters to our jobs. In 2018 travel supported 15.7 million American jobs across all U.S. industries—that’s one in ten American jobs, making travel the seventh largest employer in the private sector. Travel is an essential contributor to America’s workforce, providing an opportunity and a path to prosperity by allowing many Americans the flexibility to gain experience, pursue higher education and develop transferable skills. With 83 percent of travel companies considered small business, travel drives small businesses across America. Here in Door County, the travel industry supported 3,237 jobs last year. Travel matters to health and well-being. Americans are increasingly realizing the value of their vacation time, taking an

average of 17.2 days of vacation each year. Yet less than half of that time is used to travel—despite its clear benefits for health. Americans taking all or most of their vacation days to travel report being 20 percent happier with their personal relationships and 56 percent happier with their health and well-being than those who travel with little or none of their vacation time. Travel matters to our families. Travel helps families connect, creating everlasting memories and develop a lifelong bond. When surveyed, most children (61%) say the best way to spend quality time with parents is on vacation and at their core, adults know this: 62 percent of adults say that their earliest, most vivid memories are of family vacations taken between the ages of five and ten years old. As we celebrate our industry in Door County and around the country during this year’s National Travel & Tourism week, lets take time to reflect and appreciate all that travel and tourism does for us, not only this week, but throughout the year.

DoorCounty.com The Door County Visitor Bureau is the official tourism marketing organization for Door County, whose mission is to generate incremental economic impact for the community by attracting visitors with strategies that ensure sustainable tourism.

Door County Visitor Bureau 1015 Green Bay Rd / PO Box 406 Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 920-743-4456 / 800-527-3529 DoorCounty.com

INSIDE Tourism Economic Impact Numbers Key Tourism Metrics DCVB Department Updates CTA Program Turns 10 Boldt named CTA of the Year

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The official Door County Visitor Guide can be found throughout the county at businesses and information centers and is a great tool for planning a day, or a week, in Door County. Pick up a copy today or view it online, on your phone or on a tablet at DoorCounty.com

The Door County Board of Supervisors recognized the importance of tourism at their March 26, 2019 meeting by adopting a resolution in support of National Travel & Tourism Week 2019

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ECONOMIC IMPACT Visitor Spending

State and Local Taxes Generated

Room Tax Collections

In millions

In millions

In millions





























































In 2018, visitor spending in Door County increased by $8.1 million, or 2.26% over 2017.

In 2018, state and local tax revenue generated through tourism spending totaled $38.8 million, a slight increase over 2017.

2018 room tax collections were up 4.97% over 2017, and up 60.31% over the baseline year of 2009, the first year that all 19 of Door County’s municipalities were part of the Door County Tourism Zone.











GROWTH 2009 - 2018

% INCREASE 2009 - 2018




















































































































In 2007 the Door County Tourism Zone was formed and implemented a 5.5% room tax. 2009 was the first full year of room tax collections when all 19 of the county’s municipalities were part of the Door County Tourism Zone. As a result, 2009 is used as the base year for comparisons. *Represents gross sales of taxable goods and services of $823,059,920. **2018 room tax data reflects a benchmark year for the Door County Tourism Zone's upgraded room tax reporting system

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Milwaukee County






Dane County






Sauk County




Wisconsin Dells


Waukesha County




Milwaukee Suburbs


Brown County




Green Bay


Walworth County




Lake Geneva


Door County




Door County!


Outagamie County




Appleton/Fox Cities


La Crosse County




La Crosse


Eau Claire County




Eau Claire

Travel Media Coverage for Door County in a Changing Media Marketplace Jon Jarosh — ­DCVB Director of Communications & PR In today’s constantly evolving media marketplace, we have more ways than ever to help spread the word about the many wonders of destination Door County. But how do we sort through it all? What is best? How can we leverage what we have to maximize coverage and media attention? Rest assured, the decisions we make on how to sort through everything are measured and calculated, with the overarching goal of positively impacting the entire county through our media relations efforts. With the digital first world we live in, electronic media outlets such as web sites and other online sources play a critical role in helping us spread our Door County message through editorial based coverage. These electronic based media hits currently represent around 64% of the earned media coverage we generate through our ongoing media marketing program with Geiger & Associates Public Relations. In addition to being readily available in most places around the world, electronic media coverage is easily shared and reshared with friends and family through things like email, electronic messaging and the most popular social media channels, compounding the positive impact a single article can have. Even in our digital first world, more traditional print media does still provide some great opportunities for editorial coverage, and it allows us access to audiences that may still be print first media consumers. Plus, these days a vast majority of print publications also have an online component, which provides enhanced coverage and exposure to audiences that are digital first media consumers. Currently our print coverage represents around 36% of the earned media coverage we generate through our media marketing program. In case you’re unaware, our media marketing program welcomes regional, national and international travel journalists to Door County to experience the destination firsthand, and in turn write about their experiences for the various media outlets they represent. As a result of these efforts, Door County has been featured in more than 2,100 articles and stories in magazines, newspapers, web sites, radio and TV shows over the past 12 years. The media coverage has reached an estimated audience of nearly 2.5 billion readers/listeners/viewers and has a media value of more than $24 million. To view samples of these articles, visit http://tinyurl.com/ yafamdpg. Another way we continue to reach new audiences of various segments is through social media influencers. We’ve worked with influencers since 2016. Instagram is currently the most prevalent channel for social media influencers that we utilize, and if done responsibly and with the right intentions, social media influencers can provide a powerfully

visual way of showcasing a destination to their followers. Like with any initiative, we’ve done a lot of research, followed by pursuing partnership opportunities with strategically selected social media influencers that we feel are engaged with their followers and are an appropriate fit for what we offer here in Door County. One of the influencer couples we’ve worked with even took over the Travel Channel’s Instagram account while they were here, so the possibilities are vast with how influencers can provide exposure for Door County. All of our media relations efforts wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support we’ve gotten from our local tourism partners. Their enthusiasm for hosting journalists at their lodging properties, restaurants, attractions, events and communities remains the most critical factor in earning Door County the quality media coverage we’ve been able to generate, and will continue to generate, for the entire county.

The Power of Video Michelle Rasmusson — ­DCVB Director of Marketing & Sales The use of video content as part of the marketing mix is now an essential part of promoting and creating awareness of a destination. The DCVB leverages Door County’s beautiful landscape, charming communities and rich history to create video content that lifts and strengthens our brand image as well as the economic impact of travel and tourism. Video has the ability to tell the stories that consumers want to hear, in a way that quickly engages the audience and draws on emotions, helping to build brand loyalty.

a single ‘click’ is going to be worth what’s on the other side of that ‘more info’ button. It engages their sense of discovery and is more likely to be more memorable than what they may hear or read.

Working Together For The Greater Good Phil Berndt — ­DCVB Membership Director When I’m asked to share a quintessential quality of Door County, the first word that always comes to mind is Family. I see it in the way we do business; how we support each other and the way we work together to promote Door County to the traveling public. We are a welcoming community, comprised of independent thinkers and creative entrepreneurs, and together we set the stage for making memories that will last a lifetime. It was in the same spirit of working together for the greater good of our community that gave birth to our organization more than 128 years ago. And while our work to strengthen the local economy has benefited everyone in Door County, we have uniquely remained a non-profit membership-based organization working to promote Door County as a premier travel destination – while utilizing our collective strength to provide member businesses with industry resources and strategic marketing opportunities to bring more customers through

their doors. When you become a DCVB industry partner, your message becomes a part of our message. The Door County Visitor Bureau provides our 700+ industry partners with a wide variety of services and tools designed to maximize exposure to a lucrative leisure travel market. We work with our industry partners to attract visitors to the area, encourage them to stay longer and help ensure they return time and time again. The marketing efforts of the Door County Visitor Bureau bring millions of visitors to our area each year, representing a vital part of our local economy. Your business benefits from a strong tourism economy and you can benefit even more directly from marketing your business though exclusive partnership programs. We offer two membership tiers to help meet your needs. For $395/yr., our platinum membership includes the expanded exposure of your own dynamic business listing page on DoorCounty.com; space in our Welcome Center for your printed rack cards or brochures; invitations to participate in co-op promotional opportunities, visitor guide advertising, networking events, and education programming.  Our silver membership is ideal for the business or individual vacation property that is only looking for the added web exposure and SEO of having their own listing page on DoorCounty.com.  Web-only for $225/yr. To learn how you can become a part of the Door County story, and more about the many additional benefits of becoming a DCVB industry partner, visit www.doorcounty.com/ membership or contact either Yvonne Torres at 920-818-1139 or yvonne@doorcounty.com or myself, Phil Berndt, at  920-818-1136 or phil@ doorcounty.com.

Serving our community since 1996.

Now that the human attention span is shorter than that of a gold fish, video marketing is now one of the number one ways we are able to share Door County’s rich and meaningful stories with an audience that’s looking for brevity and intrigue. We have the chance to strike an emotional chord with the visual and auditory elements of video that text can’t always accomplish. Often the most challenging part of creating and utilizing video content is developing a strategy that is effective and correctly portrays the intended message and story. Questions to consider: What am I trying to accomplish with the video – a specific call to action, content to simply enjoy and share? Does the video appeal to the target audience? Is it created for the type of device it’s expected to be viewed on? Does it express a distinct and compelling point of view? As the destination marketing organization for Door County, it’s imperative that we create an immersive experience for consumers that triggers interest, creates a desire to learn more and genuinely inspires. Video content helps us accomplish this very daunting task. If done correctly, it gives consumers a reason to watch just a few seconds longer. It convinces them that

doorcountypulse.com The Peninsula Pulse and Door County Living are Peninsula Publishing & Distribution, Inc. companies.

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Looking Back and Looking Ahead as CTA Program Turns 10

Boldt Named 2019 CTA of the Year

Yvonne Torres, DCVB CTA Program Manager

Each year we present the Door County Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year award to an individual who embraces the spirit of the CTA program. Nominations are submitted by customers, employers, co-workers or selfnominations. This year’s Judith Boldt, recipient became certified 2019 Certified in June of 2015 and has Tourism faithfully worn her CTA pin Ambassador of ever since. She has been the Year with her employer for 15 Wagon Trail years where her primary Campground responsibility is at the front desk. She is considered a leader amongst her peers and inspires her colleagues each and every day to turn each visitor encounter into a positive and memorable experience. She goes above and beyond to ensure that the needs of the guest and business are always met, often by simply lending a helping hand outside the call of duty. None of this is better explained than from the visitors themselves.

The Door County Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program exists to train front line employees and volunteers to exceed customer expectations for our over two million annual visitors. Tourism is big business in Door County and our CTAs are committed to turning every visitor encounter into a positive experience, which in turn contributes to an increased economic impact in our county. It has been a decade since the CTA program was brought to Door County, and we can be proud that over 1,000 local employees and volunteers have earned their certification in this internationally-recognized program. We have breathed enthusiasm into the tourism professions up and down our great peninsula. We have forged lasting partnerships with our many businesses and created a bridge between our frontline employees and their understanding of how important their role in the ‘big tourism picture’ is.

As we enter our 10th year and celebrate how far this program has come, we look to towards the future with even greater enthusiasm as we embark on new classes and initiatives. This past March, in partnership with the Sturgeon Bay School District we introduced a first of its kind student focused CTA class where twelve students from the Future Business Leaders of America organization participated in the class, along with Sturgeon Bay High School Principal Robert Nickel and Superintendent Dan Tjernagel. In April we also introduced our very first Spanish speaking CTA class where 14 individuals representing both Newport Resort and Mojo Rosa’s were certified. Participants left feeling energized, informed and most importantly, included. By earning an industry-level certification, learning more about the place in which we live and engaging with local professionals who work in the tourism industry, we hope to continue the momentum of helping our visitors create life-long memories during their time in Door County. For more information about the CTA program, contact Yvonne Torres of the Door County Visitor Bureau at 920-818-1139.

On March 7, 2019 students from the Sturgeon Bay School District participated in a first of it's kind student focused CTA class at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay. Joining them were Sturgeon Bay Superintendent Dan Tjernagel and Sturgeon Bay High School Principal Robert Nickel.

“The campground is fantastic, but the hidden gem was Judy. She gave me so many great tips on where to go and what to see. We did the “Judy List” and had such a great experience. Thank you Judy.” “I had to write and tell you again what a difference Judy made in my first visit/stay at the Wagon Trail Campground. From the first conversation to the last-whether we were discussing the reservation itself or how to find the campground late at night after my friend and I lost our way-Judy’s voice at the other end of the phone was always reassuring, friendly, and caring. The warm and enthusiastic greeting we received when we finally walked into the office (after closing time) gave both my friend and me the feeling this was just the start of a really great weekend and it was!” Please join us in congratulating Judith Boldt on being selected as the 2019 Door County Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year.


PLAY AND WORK IN DOOR COUNTY Offering job posting and application/resume resources free of charge. No matter the job you are seeking or employee you are looking for, make sure you have posted it here.


DOOR COUNTY GIFT CERTIFICATES Door County gift certificates are available to purchase at the DCVB Welcome Center, by phone at 800-527-3529 or online at DoorCounty.com. They make great gifts for visitors, residents, or rewards for employees! Any business in Door County (regardless of membership) is encouraged to accept them and will be reimbursed by the DCVB at 100% face value. To see a list of DCVB members that accept gift certificates, visit DoorCounty.com/gift-certificates. Over $250,000 worth of Door County gift certificates were sold through the Door County Visitor Bureau last year, and they can only be spent at businesses in Door County.

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DOOR COUNTY VISITOR BUREAU 1015 Green Bay Rd | PO Box 406 | Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 doorcounty.com | info@doorcounty.com | 800.527.3529

Profile for Door County Pulse

2019 Power of Tourism - Door County Visitor Bureau  

As we move forward into the coming years it is imperative that we understand why travel matters. How does it affect our towns, villages, cit...

2019 Power of Tourism - Door County Visitor Bureau  

As we move forward into the coming years it is imperative that we understand why travel matters. How does it affect our towns, villages, cit...