A message from Stephanie Klett, Wisconsin Dept. of Tourism Secretary, about the Governor’s recommendations for tourism from his State of the Budget Address last week:

Hello Council, Council Friends and the Department of Tourism Team,

Here is a recap of the Governor’s recommendation from his State of the Budget Address. The good news is that we have approximately $1.6 million more that we will spend on tourism marketing in 2014-15 compared to the last biennium. Here is the breakdown.

An additional $500,000 will be allocated to the following:

  • $200,000 International Marketing
  • $150,000 Public Relations
  • $150,000 Meetings & Conventions and sports events

The other part of the recommendation is that the $1.1 million in recent lapses have been restored to our budget. Most people in Government aren’t familiar with how lapses work and how it impacts our budget. It’s important to understand that lapses affect every state agency. It’s basically money from our approved budget that is returned to the general fund as the result of shortfalls in revenue projections, etc. And compared to other state agencies, like the Department of Administration that returned $19 million in lapses, Tourism’s has been relatively small but significant.

This is the second time that the Governor has recommended increases to the Tourism Budget. Overall, we are heading in a positive upward direction, which is more good news for our industry. Next, I will testify in front of the Joint Committee on Finance. That date will be announced over the next month or so.

On another positive note, we now have more than half of all state legislators registered for the Tourism Partnership Breakfast at the Governor’s Conference next month! This is a record breaking number and something we can all be proud of.

Thank you for all the great work you do in spreading the word about the significance of tourism in Wisconsin.