2023 National Travel and Tourism Week


Relive VISIT Milwaukee’s weeklong celebration of the many industries that drive travel and tourism forward!


Last week marked the 40th anniversary of National Travel and Tourism Week, the U.S. Travel Association’s annual celebration of the travel and tourism community, and the impact the industry generates on the local economy. 

VISIT Milwaukee’s marketing and communications seized the opportunity to build anticipation for the summer travel season with a packed slate of events, giveaways and campaigns designed to highlight the ways the tourism industry drives Milwaukee forward and promote one of National Geographic’s “Best of the World” list destinations for 2023.

Look back on the week and check out some of the highlights from VISIT Milwaukee's 2023 National Travel and Tourism Week.

Monday: VISIT Milwaukee’s Advocacy Day

To kick the week off, VISIT Milwaukee, Mitchell International Airport and Country Executive David Crowley held a press conference on Monday morning in the airport’s main concourse to note the far-reaching impact of travel and tourism on the economy and the workforce. In the Greater Milwaukee area alone, travel and tourism supports more than 41,000 jobs in all corners of the Greater Milwaukee area.

Additionally, VISIT Milwaukee announced the debut of a collaboration with Steve Glynn and Adam Derus of the Experience Milwaukee Podcast to create Work in MKE Podcast. The hospitality-focused podcast launched later that day with an episode featuring VISIT Milwaukee’s Digital Marketing Manager, Miranda Allison.

Watch: Work in MKE

Tuesday: Volunteer Appreciation Day

On Tuesday, VISIT Milwaukee celebrated the hard work and enthusiastic local pride of our volunteers. In 2022, VISIT Milwaukee’s 136 volunteers contributed 1,748 hours to the organization. These volunteers act as ambassadors for the City of Milwaukee and are often the only direct point of contact. Their willingness to give of their time to welcome visitors and ensure events like USA Triathlon operate seamlessly has been integral to VISIT Milwaukee’s success.

VISIT Milwaukee was thrilled to welcome many of these volunteers to MOTOR Bar & Restaurant on the Harley-Davidson Museum campus for a happy hour to celebrate their dedication to the success of our city. The evening began with brief remarks by President and CEO Peggy-Williams-Smith before turning the program over to Volunteer Experience Manager Tony Snell to recognize volunteers who have helped the organization for 10, 15, 20 and even 25 years.

VISIT Milwaukee also launched a blog acknowledging the importance of volunteers for our city and profiling Doug Glasenapp, a 10-year volunteer and lifelong Milwaukee enthusiast. 

Read the Cheers to Volunteers Blog

Wednesday: The Value of Meetings & Conventions

The Baird Center, formerly known as the Wisconsin Center, raised the bar on National and Tourism Week, adding even more excitement to the weeklong celebration with the official topping off ceremony of the convention center expansion. As the final structural beam was placed on the Baird Center, VISIT Milwaukee took the opportunity to promote the work the organization does to secure conventions that bring tens of thousands of visitors to our city, generate a seismic economic impact by injecting millions of dollars into the local economy, and serves to promote return leisure visitation to the region. 

Beam Me Up

Thursday: City of Festivals

VISIT Milwaukee kicked off festival season with a big bang on Thursday with a City of Festivals-themed ticket giveaway on the organization’s Instagram channel. 413 followers participated, entering to win tickets to Pridefest and Summerfest. With festivals all year round, VISIT Milwaukee used the day to spotlight the value of events like Summerfest, Pridefest, Polish Fest, State Fair, Mexican Fiesta, and the countless other festivals that drive millions of visitors to our city. 

Explore More in the City of Festivals


Friday: The Impact of Sports Tourism

BOBBY! BOBBY! BOBBY! As the grand finale of National Travel and Tourism Week, Bucks star Bobby Portis and VISIT Milwaukee announced they are running it back in 2023 with a renewal of Bobby's role as Milwaukee’s Official Hype Man campaign. The video invites prospective visitors and locals to “Explore Bobby’s Milwaukee” as he visits searches for the woolly mammoth at the Milwaukee Public Museum, hosts story time at the Milwaukee Public Library, lends a helping hand at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Regional Conference, crafts his signature cocktail, A Little Bit of Love, at Honeybee Sage, and more. 

See Bobby’s MKE

Sports Milwaukee, a division of VISIT Milwaukee, spent the day shining a bright spotlight on the impact of sports tourism on the local economy. In 2023 year-to-date alone, the Sports Milwaukee team has worked to generate $23.3 million in total economic impact for the Greater Milwaukee area, bringing in 23 events, generating 21,000 room nights and attracting 99,000 visitors to our city. 

Meet Sports Milwaukee

Article originally published on 5/16/2023