Tourism in Wisconsin tops $21.6 Billion in 2018
Wood County Visitor Spending at $96.6 Million
May 9, 2019 – The Wisconsin Department of Tourism announced tourism’s impact on the state’s economy reached $21.6 billion in 2018. The findings are a part of a study conducted by Tourism Economics highlighting continued growth across the state’s tourism industry. Last year, tourism supported over 199,000 jobs and visitor trips topped 112 million visits. The announcement comes as Wisconsin’s tourism industry celebrates this year’s National Travel &Tourism Week (May 5-11).
Travelers to Wood County spent $ 190.1 million in 2018. Locally, over the past 5 years, visitors to Wisconsin Rapids contributed over $1.5 million dollars in local taxes. Factors for local tourism growth include sports tourism such as: the WIAA State Cross Country and Gymnastics Tournaments, the Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships, Marsh Madness Bonspiel and the BMX Nationals to name a few; as well as continued visitation to our area for leisure due to our abundance of outdoor recreation, location along the river, niche agricultural tourism and birding opportunities.
“Our central location, affordable lodging and hometown hospitality contribute to a great visitor experience. Tourism plays an important role in our community, and from an economic standpoint, the numbers reflect that,” said Meredith Kleker, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Rapids Area CVB. “Last year’s numbers are very encouraging, and we hope to capitalize on this momentum in the coming summer months.”
Statewide, traveler spending generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue and $1.2 billion in federal taxes. and visitors generated $1.6 billion in state and local revenue and $1.2 billion in federal taxes, saving Wisconsin taxpayers $680 per household. Last year, tourism achieved a Return on Investment of 7 to 1: $7 in tax revenue per $1 promotional spend. Additional economic impact findings, including individual county figures are also available at industry.travelwisconsin.com/research/economic-impact.
“Tourism in Wisconsin continues to see steady economic growth thanks to all the individuals who work hard to advance the industry,” said Tourism Secretary-designee Meaney. “We also see tremendous growth opportunities that will help us tell the story of Wisconsin and attract new travelers to explore some of our most unique offerings.”
The Department of Tourism works with international research firms Tourism Economics and Longwoods International.