Visit Milwaukee to tout city's artistic attractions through marketing tour

MILWAUKEE: Visit Milwaukee, the newly renamed Milwaukee convention and visitors bureau, plans a multi-city tour this spring to promote Milwaukee as a convention and tourist destination.

MILWAUKEE: Visit Milwaukee, the newly renamed Milwaukee convention and visitors bureau, plans a multi-city tour this spring to promote Milwaukee as a convention and tourist destination.

Visit Milwaukee will spend about half its 2005 marketing budget - in the $500,000 range - on public relations, stressing the arts and cultural attractions Milwaukee offers to visitors and convention goers, said David Fantle, director of public relations.

The spending represents a major shift from last year when PR was only about 20% of marketing spending. "We are going to be relying more and more on public relations," Fantle said.

Stir Advertising & Integrated Marketing, a Milwaukee agency, handles advertising and PR for Visit Milwaukee.

The bureau recently adopted a new logo featuring a distinctive new addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum to reinforce the arts theme.

"We are trying to get away from the 1960s image of Milwaukee" as a blue-collar city, Fantle said.

The tour - which will include bureau PR and sales people - will begin in April and include up to six cities that have significant concentrations of event planners and travel and meeting-planning media.

In addition to meeting with journalists, events will also be held to showcase the city's cultural attractions.

The bureau has dubbed the trip the "Billion Dollar Tour" because it will be discussing the $1 billion in new investments, including a Harley-Davidson museum, planned in the city through 2008.

"We really think the Harley-Davidson museum has incredible potential and opens the door to more international tourists" visiting Milwaukee, Fantle said.

The bureau changed its name to better reflect its mission to attract more visitors to the city, Fantle explained.

It unveiled the new name and the new logo featuring the art museum wing designed by noted Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in February.

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