FISCAL YEAR 2019
Annual Report FROM TRAVEL DUBUQUE
Team Keith Rahe President & CEO Julie Kronlage Vice President of Sales Sara Hanten Vice President of Operations Tyler Daugherty Director of Sports & Events Taylor Cummings Director of Marketing Becky Carkeek Director of Guest Services Whitney Sanger Sales Manager Adele Herman Social Media Marketing Manager Marv Maiers Brochure Distribution Facilitator Vicki Maiers Brochure Distribution Facilitator Karen Lyness Welcome Center Michelle Moody Welcome Center Peter Kilburg Welcome Center Gerda Hartman Tour Guide Bob Eichman Tour Guide Janell Radloff Tour Guide Diane Gallager Tour Guide Mary Lou Mauss Tour Guide Shirley Maiers Tour Guide
Board of Directors Bob Grierson Dubuque Regional Airport Wendy Runde Diamond Jo Casino Mark Wahlert Dubuque Symphony Orchestra Mayor Roy D. Buol City of Dubuque Mike Van Milligen City of Dubuque Jay Wickham Dubuque County Board of Supervisors Ric Jones Dubuque City Council Tom Wagner Wagner Accounting Chad Wagener Premier Banking
Our Mission. Leading tourism destination, promotion, and development to enhance & expand the Dubuque area experience.
Mark Wahlert Dubuque Symphony Orchestra Nate Breitsprecker National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium Michaela Freiburger Dubuque Main Street Sue Moran Grand Harbor Resort & Waterpark Randy Gehl City of Dubuque Kevin Kotz Dubuque County Fairgrounds Luis Del Toro Dubuque City Council HR Cook Five Flags Center Brian Preston Dubuque County Conservation Geri Shafer Arts Management Consultant Jim Rodrigues Quiet Walker Lodge Marty Maiers Diamond Jo Casino Mitzy Yordy Grand River Center Rick Kruser Matthews Distributing Lynette Montes Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tina Gau Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center Ann McDonough Dubuque County Supervisor Janet Steinbach Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce Ron Tigges Mines of Spain Cori Burbach City of Dubuque David Schmitz Dubuque Musuem of Art Jill Connors City of Dubuque Kate Larson Dubuque City Council
A letter from the President. As we examined the past twelve months, we reflected on a number of success stories. Drawing 16,620 people to the last remaining, operational, WWII LST; welcoming a delegation of 13 leaders from Handan, China; recruiting meetings, events, groups, and reunions to Iowaâ€™s oldest community; refreshing our website with user-friendly additions; continuing work on inclusivity; and more. During this time, our team also served in leadership roles for many organizations including Upper Midwest Convention & Visitors Bureau, Eastern Iowa Tourism Association, Travel Federation of Iowa, Iowa Destination Marketing Alliance, Five Flags Center Commission, Arts & Culture Commision & Taskforce, Inclusive Dubuque, Grant Wood Loop, Potential on Central, Meeting Professionals International, Iowa Group Travel Association, and more. As an industry, tourism in Dubuque County generated $351.76* million in travel related expenditures, while 3,000* individuals were employed by travel related businesses and over $57.90* million was generated for those employees through payroll. Fiscal year 2019 will be filed away fondly with high expectations for another year of milestones thanks in large part, to the partnership of organizations like yours.
PR ESI D E NT & CEO | TR AVEL D U B U QU E *In 2017, according to the Annual Iowa Economic Development Authority Economic Impact Report released in October of 2018.
F ISC A L YEAR 2019:
The Year in Numbers $351.76 MILLION IN ECONOMIC IMPACT* 3,000 EMPLOYED IN TOURISM* $57.90 MILLION IN PAYROLL* $20.23 MILLION IN STATE TAXES* $4.83 MILLION IN LOCAL TAXES* 560 TRAVEL RELATED PARTNERS 35 EVENTS THROUGH TRAVEL DUBUQUE & DUBUQUE REGIONAL SPORTS COMMISSION 85,000 VISITORS FROM EVENTS 60,000 MEETING DELEGATES 65+ GROUP TOURS 10,874 VISITORS TO THE WELCOME CENTER 147,000 VISITORS TO TRAVELDUBUQUE.COM 8,000 FOLLOWERS ON FACEBOOK + INSTAGRAM *In 2017, according to the Annual Iowa Economic Development Authority Economic Impact Report released in October of 2018.
#ONC EIN A L IFE T IME
#O NCEIN ALIFE TIM E S UCCESS S T O RY:
USS LST 325 The last remaining operational WWII LST. This LST (Landing Ship Tank), the last operational vessel of its kind, moved military equipment, tanks, and ammunition during it’s time on the water. Today, she spends most of her time in her home port of Evansville, Indiana, leaving each fall to sail the nation’s inland rivers. The USS LST 325 visited Dubuque August 23-27, 2018 and welcomed 16,620 people to the Port of Dubuque during her time here. Travel Dubuque welcomed these guests, arranged 26 group tours during that time, and coordinated the visit with the crew with the help of area sponsors & partners. 16,620 VISITORS
75% FROM 50+ MILES OUTSIDE OF DUBUQUE
26 GROUP TOURS
Loved touring this great and historic ship, thank you so much for bringing this to Iowa. Also great to see all the veterans visiting and seeing people greet them warmly and with respect. Fantastic! USS LS T 325 VISIT OR
$1.8 MILLION ESTIMATED IMPACT
DESTINATION MARKETING FEE In 2017, Travel Dubuque, with help from lodging partners, established a Destination Marketing Fee (DMF). It was established to allow the industry a funding mechanism for unique opportunities. The USS LST 325 was one of the projects that received DMF funding in 2018.
#INC L U S IVIT Y
#I NCLUSIVIT Y SUCC ESS S T O RY:
Sister Cities Committee Growing our relationship with Handan, China. In 2017, Travel Dubuque took on the responsibility of facilitating the Sister Cities Committee through the City of Dubuque. Since then, meetings have been held to strategize ways to bolster the relationships with Dubuque’s Sister Cities of Dornbirn, Austria; Handan, China; and Pyatigorsk, Russia. In August of 2018, Travel Dubuque’s Sister City Committee hosted 13 Handan delegates. They spent time touring the community and visiting with area leaders. Since then, committee member, Dick Landis, visited Handan and Dubuque took part in a Sister City photography exhibit in China. 3 SISTER CITIES
13 DELEGATES VISITED FROM HANDAN, CHINA IN 2018
13 COMMITTEE MEMBERS
6 COMMITTEE MEETINGS A YEAR
LI ZHIQIANG 月王立彤市长率领邯郸市友好代 表团访问杜布克市取得了圆满成 功，在此，我们再次表示谢意。
In August, Mayor Wang Lijun led a friendly delegation from Handan City to visit Dubuque City and achieved great success. Here, we once again express our gratitude. C I T Y O F H A NDA N F O REIGN OFFICE
MUTAL AGREEMENT During their time in Dubuque, the Handan Delegation, led by Mayor Wang Lijun, signed a mutual agreement with Mayor Roy D. Buol to encourage future interactions between the two cities from 2018 - 2020.
#COMMU N IT YEN GAGEMEN T
#COM M UN IT YEN GAGEMENT S UCCESS S T O RY:
Food Truck Friday At the heart of #WhereIowaStarted. An idea launched by the City of Dubuque Public Transit department, Food Truck Friday started as a one-time event aimed at familiarizing people with Dubuque’s public transit system. In 2018, Travel Dubuque decided to make this an on-going event in the heart of historic downtown at Washington Park. Support for this event was immediate. Working with Wicked River Event Productions, 365ink, food vendors, area musicians and partners has led to a series of events taking place each second Friday, May through October in 2019. The inagural event, held in May of 2019, saw hundreds of people enjoying food, weather, and company of their fellow community members while engaging with the story of Dubuque. SIX FOOD VENDORS
SIX AREA MUSICIANS
HELD THE SECOND THURSDAY MAY - OCTOBER
ERIN POT TER
Thank you to all that made it to Food Truck Friday at Washington Park! We appreciate everyone and their patience. Over 150 served in July! BUE NI E BO T T O M S O UT DOOR GRIL L, F O O D T RU CK VEN DOR
TOURISM WEEK The Food Truck Friday season opener was part of a larger celebration of Tourism Week May 6-10, 2019. This week had events like a Root Beer Float, Hospitality Breakfast, The Great Dubuque Scavenger Hunt, and more. This year’s Great Dubuque Scavenger Hunt was the second annual event of its kind and welcomed over 130 attendees who explored the Dubuque area.
#GROU PT OU R
#GROUP TOUR SUCC E SS S T O RY:
Sales Efforts Sharing the history of #WhereIowaStarted. The sales team worked hard to recruit new group tours, as well as foster relationships with friends from the past, to continue to make an impact in Dubuque and the Tri-State region. Tradeshow attendance, cold calling and sales blitzes took place throughout the year in an effort to keep Dubuque’s name in front of planners. When asking planners what they enjoy most about Dubuque, what is shared repeatedly is the willingness to go above and beyond to help the planner make their time in the community a success…and keep them looking good to their clients! 65+ GROUP TOURS IN FY19
ANNE T TE TROT TER
We love coming to Dubuque, in fact we visit every other year with a full motor coach of guests. Travel Dubuque’s sales team helps me ensure all my guests are well taken care of and that all my needs as a planner are met! D I R E C T O R O F T O UR & PRODU C T D E V E LO PM E NT, T URN ER COACHES
AVERAGE GROUP SIZE: 32 PEOPLE
GROUPS CAME FROM WISCONSIN, IOWA, NEBRASKA, ILLINOIS, MISSOURI, MINNESOTA, INDIANA, COLORADO, AND MORE
IN APRIL OF 2019, 11 motor coach owners gathered in Dubuque / Galena for meetings and to explore options for future group tour sales. This was the first time Dubuque has hosted the Travel Alliance Partners.
#MEE T IN GS
#ME E T IN G S SUCC ESS S T O RY:
Large Meeting & Convention Recruitment Targeting Iowa, Midwest, and National groups. In a competitive market for meeting recruitment, the sales team worked hard to continue to put Dubuque on the map. From meeting one on one with planners from around the country, to picking up the phone and making sales calls, to hosting events in surrounding communities to share Dubuqueâ€™s story, the sales team was on the move. The most surprising meeting tidbit that meeting planners learned about Dubuque? Coffee is only $18 a gallon (compared to $32.95 at Monona Terrace in Madison, WI or $55 a gallon at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.) Affordability along with the great opportunities for dining and entertainment also raised an eyebrow to planners not familiar with Dubuque.
I received numerous compliments from attendees from across the region about the facility staff, the Mississippi River, and the Riverwalk in Dubuque and how many things there were to do downtown and nearby. I was very impressed with how smoothly everything went from beginning to end. I NT E R NAT I O NA L B ROT HERHOOD O F E L E C T R I C A L WO RK S BU SIN ESS M A NAG E R & T R I-S TAT E CHA MPION
60,000 CONVENTION DELEGATES IN FY19 INCLUDED GROUPS LIKE THE NATIONAL WALNUT COUNCIL, N4C CONFERENCE, THE SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS, AMERICAN BELL ASSOCIATION, & MORE
A LITTLE BIT OF THIS. A LITTLE BIT OF THAT. A Destination Marketing Fee Project (DMF) was initiated in FY19 to create a dedicated subbrand for meetings. A logo, ad suite, and microsite are slated to help aid in this effort.
#S PORT S
#S P O RT S SUCC ESS ST O RY:
Mississippi River Gymnastics Competition A USA Gymnastics Sanctioned Event. The Mississippi River Gymnastics Classic is a USAG (USA Gymnastics) AAU invitational for school aged athletes. This 3-day event draws competitors from the Midwest and as far reaching as Texas. This event is funded through the Dubuque Regional Sports Commission and helps bring people to Dubuque during the late winter months. HELD AT FIVE FLAGS CENTER
JUDGES FROM AZ, CA, GA, IA, IL, NE, OH, AND WI
$390,000 ESTIMATED IMPACT
DOUG JONUSK A
Over the past several years, 360 Sports and CSA Kids Sports & Arts Campus have enjoyed hosting the Mississippi River Gymnastics Vacation Classic in beautiful Dubuque. Dubuque is a family-friendly vacation destination and fits perfectly with our Vacation Classic Series. MEE T DIREC T OR
THE DUBUQUE REGIONAL SPORTS COMMISSION, along with Travel Dubuque, helped support over 35 events this past fiscal year generating $14.5 million in economic impact*. These events included Dueling Dogs, Team of Dreams, Mississippi Valley Open Tennis, Ride Across Wisconsin, and more. *According to the Iowa Economic Development Authority Formula.
#EVEN T S
#E VE NT S SUCC ESS ST O RY:
Run4Troops Boston Marathon Qualifier.
TIM & CONNIE HODGE
Run4Troops is an out-and-back, marathon, half marathon. and relay trail run on the scenic Heritage Trail in Dubuque, IA. Started in 2009, Run4Troops has quickly become one of the areaâ€™s signature events. In 2019, it attracted 1,511 individuals from 39 states. The marathon, which boasts Boston-qualifying status, also gives back to the community by raising funds for local military, past, present, and future.
Run4Troops could not have achieved this growth & success without the support of the Dubuque community (and county!) and Travel Dubuque. The staff at Travel Dubuque has been there with and for us since day one, financially & strategically. We chat with them regularly. They are a true partner for us. ORGA N IZERS
155 RELAY TEAMS
1,511 TOTAL RUNNERS
$383,000 IN IMPACT
264 HALF MARATHONERS
EVENT DESTINATION. Dubuque is fortunate to have an abundance of entertainment opportunities for visitors. Travel Dubuque assists many area events with services, marketing, or planning throughout the year. Some of these events included Americaâ€™s River Festival, Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, and Torquefest.
#HOS PITA L IT Y
#HOSP ITALIT Y SUCC ESS S T O RY:
Customer Experience Customer intel makes memorable visits. An important part of the experience that the Travel Dubuque Welcome Center offers is gathering background data about guests while in town. With this information, staff is able to make customized recommendations for their visit to Dubuque. Content pieces like pet friendly guides, downtown attraction sheets, as well as data gathering for amenities offered in the area are some of the ways the Travel Dubuque Welcome Center staff crafted memorable expierences for our nearly 11,000 guests. AVERAGE 3.8 DAYS SPENT IN IOWA*
BARBAR A WOKINGHAM
Great friendly welcome and really helpful staff member. We picked up information which proved invaluable. Thanks for a perfect start for our trip and stay in Dubuque. WE LCO M E C E N T ER VISIT OR UNI T ED K IN GDOM
AVERAGE PARTY SIZE OF 2.7 PEOPLE* AVERAGE SPENDING IS $358.01*
10,874 VISITORS IN THE WELCOME CENTER INCLUDING GUESTS FROM FRANCE, UK, SPAIN, GERMANY, SOUTH AMERICA, AUSTRALIA
MEMORABLE GIFTS The Travel Dubuque Welcome Center has also developed unique #WhereIowaStarted gear that is available for purchase by visitors as well as our partners. A successful program has been developed for partners who are looking for memorable gifts to leave their guests.
*In 2017, according to the Annual Iowa Economic Development Authority Economic Impact Report released in October of 2018.
#MA RK E T IN G
#MARKE TIN G SUCC E SS S T O RY:
Website Refresh The center of our marketing.
EMILY SUTHERL AND
Traveldubuque.com has long been a keystone for Travel Dubuque marketing efforts. In the spring of 2019, a website refresh was released that included many new features. This update put content front and center with video loops, article features and user generated galleries. Visitors to the website can now curate a collection of events, attractions, and articles to reference as they plan a visit to Dubuque. Since launching the new site, metrics have steadily grown stronger as users delve deeper into traveldubuque.com.
Working with other destination clients, we will often use Travel Dubuque as an example of a top customer website. Not only is it an interactive and engaging experience for the end user, but it truly showcases what makes Dubuque a unique travel destination. CROWDRIFF
147,000 VISITORS TO TRAVELDUBUQUE.COM
33.66% GROWTH IN NUMBER OF USERS OVER 2018
70.9% GROWTH IN MOBILE USERS OVER 2018
99.04% GROWTH IN SOCIAL MEDIA REFERRALS OVER 2018
ON THE SPOT This web series features Travel Dubuque venturing out into the community, quizzing visitors and residents about their Dubuque knowledge as well as information on participating attractions. This series is hosted on traveldubuque.com and is a top content performer for the site.
F I S C A L Y E A R 2020:
Looking Ahead SISTER CITIES: Handan, China Delegation to retun to Dubuque in Fall of 2019. UPCOMING MEETINGS: Iowa Downtown Conference, Iowa League of Cities, Iowa Recycling & Solid Waste Conference, & Growing Sustainable Communites Conference in Fall 2019. National Conference for Catechical Leadership to be held in May 2020 with 800+ delegates from throughout the country, plus many more. MEET DUBUQUE CAMPAIGN: A fun campaign focusing on conventions and meetings. TOURISM WEEK: To be held May 4-8, 2020 around Dubuque. TEAM OF DREAMS: Taking place at the iconic Field of Dreams Labor Day weekend with an all-star cast including former Cubs player and two time World Series Champion, David Ross, and the stars of ‘Sandlot’ and ‘A League of Their Own’. DOCKDOG WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Competitors from across the country will once again compete in Dubuque with their furry companions. GROUP TOURS: Another strong year is on the horizon for the motor coach industry. Travel Dubuque will have a presence at the American Bus Association Marketplace in Omaha along with Midwest Marketplace.
We Welcome Everyone. We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race. - Kofi Annan
300 MAIN STREET, SUITE 120 DUBUQUE, IOWA | 800.798.8844 TRAVELDUBUQUE.COM