The members of the Oneida County Tourism Council have picked up a state Joint Effort Marketing grant to find out more information about why tourists come and stay here.
On hand at the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce was Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett to present a check for more than $39,000....
"....when a brand rings true, they're drawn to it. Our brand is fun. Here in Oneida county, they're going to be learning what are all the factors that make this area unique. What draws people to it. When you hit the right nerve and people give you honest information and you can advertising based on that, it's a win-win...."
Klett said a few years ago the Department of Tourism got away from the many slogans they had used for years and rebranded their efforts based around the simple theme of 'fun'. She says since they changed the brand, they're up 35 percent. Klett says last year travel expenditures were around $20 billion.
Oneida County Tourism Council President Krystal Westfahl says the money will go strictly for branding Oneida county....
"....what that means is we're going to be doing research based on the visitors coming here. We want to find out what they love, what they're attractions are that they come to see when they come to Oneida county. We're looking to wrap our brand around what they love and then use that to reach out to new travelers with that information...."
Westfahl says local residents have an idea why tourists come here, but they could be here for entirely different reasons. Westfahl says they're already do surveys of recent visitors, with the next segment focusing on digital visitors.
Westfahl says the tourism council had to match the state check, totaling nearly $80,000 for research.