Grant funds will go towards market research to draw new visitors to the area

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (June 12, 2017) – The Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is embarking on a year-long brand perception study with help from a $30,000 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The study will help identify travelers to the region, highlight the area’s assets and opportunities and provide quantifiable reporting of the economic impact of tourism in the Stevens Point Area.

“We are thrilled to support the Stevens Point Area CVB in their efforts create a cohesive branding and marketing strategy,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “Successful marketing efforts are based on solid research. This JEM Grant will help the area expand efforts to showcase the Stevens Point Area as a destination and attract more travelers.”

Grant funds will go towards surveys from current visitors to the Stevens Point Area, potential travelers to Wisconsin, local residents and sporting event attendees. The Convention & Visitors Bureau aims to assess visitor perceptions and travel habits for the area’s attractions. Information collected from the research will be used to build a strategic brand platform.

“We are excited to have been awarded this grant that will allow our organization to paint a data-driven picture of the perception of the Stevens Point Area brand,” said Sara Brish, Executive Director of the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Grant dollars received will help us identify the assets and needs in the Stevens Point Area as perceived by travelers and refine the identity of Stevens Point Area travelers.”

In 2016, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20 billion, a 3.5 percent increase from 2015. Tourism activity supports 193,500 jobs and the travel and hospitality industry has added 21,500 in employment opportunities for Wisconsin residents since 2010, a 12.4% increase. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue. Wisconsin taxpayers would need to pay $650 per household in order to maintain current government services. Business sales in Portage County totaled $219.2 million in 2016, supporting 2,216 jobs and $16.1 million in state and local taxes.

In fiscal 2016, the Department funded 57 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $31 million. 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 provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at:

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