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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The easy way to get away to Walworth County

As you read this issue of The Week, there's a better than average chance you are in sitting somewhere in Walworth County.

That should come as no surprise, because The Week is Walworth County's newspaper. We've covered Walworth County happenings and the people who live here for 30 years.

This past Monday, June 9, at 7 p.m., The Week launched another addition to our family of publications that includes our twice-weekly newspaper, seven magazines, four special sections and a Web site.

Our new site, WalworthCoGetaway.com, has taken nearly a year to create. WalworthCoGetaway.com is all about Walworth County: events, lodging, dining, things to do, communities and trip planning.

Trip planning?

Yes, trip planning--to Walworth County.

Consider this:

Only five other Wisconsin counties have more tourism revenue than Walworth County: Milwaukee County, Dane County, Waukesha County, Sauk County (Wisconsin Dells) and Brown County (Green Bay). Think about these areas and their draw. Do you know what attracts so many to Walworth County?

Research done during the process of building WalworthCoGetaway.com showed that nearly 85 percent of those who travel begin their planning online. They want a simple and complete tool to make their plans. How do you make your travel plans?

How have gas prices changed your plans? How do you think they will change the plans of others?

The results of a Walworth County economic impact study from 2007 further emphasize the importance of a county-wide approach to promotion.

The Week has the photography, the news gathering resources, the financial resources attached to the advertising resources and a significant interest in Walworth County, making us uniquely qualified to tell this area's story.

Putting all of the facts together, revenue opportunities became apparent. Conversations with most area chamber and visitor bureau leaders early in the process generated additional support for a unified approach to tourism.

The Week will now tell Walworth County's story to those outside our borders.

Overseeing this project for the last 10 months has been an incredible adventure for me.

The launch on Monday was only the beginning. There's plenty of work still to be done to keep the site fresh and increase the number of advertising partners.

WalworthCoGetaway.com will be a tool to create and share an itinerary, write and read reviews, send e-cards, request additional information, view photo galleries and more. Go to WalworthCoGetaway.com. It's simple, it's complete and it's attractive. When you find a local getaway online, take the next step. Go! Be a tourist in one of the top six destinations in the state, Walworth County. I'll see you there.

The author is director of sales and marketing for The Week.

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