This month’s In the Wings topic is Destination Milwaukee. This week I spoke with Kristin Settle of Visit Milwaukee to learn about what the Visit Milwaukee team does to make Milwaukee a destination city.
It’s easy to assume Visit Milwaukee is just a source for local attractions. While their website does list that information, Visit Milwaukee takes it up a notch when bringing people to Milwaukee.
The Visit Milwaukee sales team travels internationally to bring events and organizations back home. Sometimes they are working four to five years out in advance to book an event that will bring in tourists.
Some of the events Visit Milwaukee helped bring home include the USA Triathlon, US Open and Pheasants Forever. Those events mean that more people are being exposed to our wonderful city, while simultaneously putting money into our city.
“We are really trying to showcase Milwaukee as a great destination to have a good time, to relax and have fun, that’s affordable,” said Settle. “We are putting ads all across the country, whether that’s on your Pandora or Spotify station.”
Tourism is a $ 5 billion industry, second to agriculture in Wisconsin. Settle calls Milwaukee the “front door” to the statewide industry. “Milwaukee accounts for 20 percent of Wisconsin’s total tourism economy,” said Settle
Photo by Visit Milwaukee
Settle also noted that tourism is a year round market, bringing in visitors through any season, not just the summer. While breweries are a popular request, international visitors come to see the only Harley Davidson museum in the world – right in our city.
Fall attractions are well underway with the change in temperature. China Lights is returning to the Boerner Botanical Gardens.
If you’re feeling particularly spooky, you can go on a Gothic Milwaukee Haunted Walking Tour or visit the many beer barons of Milwaukee at the Forest Home Cemetery.
If you’re looking for a specific event or are expecting visitors for the weekend and want to show them around, Settle recommends the Milwaukee 365 website. The community website allows anyone to add Milwaukee events to the calendar, meaning you’re bound to find intriguing, local events suitable for any visitor.