Wisconsin Tourism Reports 2019 Record $22.2 Billion
Lincoln County Visitor Spending at $60.6 Million
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism today announced tourism’s impact on the state’s economy reached $22.2 billion in 2019.
According to a press release from the Merrill Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday afternoon, May 5; “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 202,217 jobs and visitor trips topped 113 million visits. The announcement comes as Wisconsin’s tourism industry celebrates this year’s National Travel &Tourism Week (May 3-9) and plans for an economic bounce back when public health authorities determine it is safe to do so.”
“Our tourism impact has consistently risen annually since 2009, across the board,” said Debbe Kinsey, Merrill Chamber of Commerce CEO and Tourism Commission Administrator.
“We have accomplished this, due in part, to our very aggressive and target marketing efforts. Unfortunately, our numbers will not be where they should be for the 2020 report next year due to the pandemic. We have already begun cancelling large events, such as the Wisconsin Pro River Rodeo.”
Locally, travelers to Lincoln County spent $60.6 million in 2019. Among the contributing factors for local tourism growth was a targeted marketing program and of course great events and activities.
“Tourism plays a critical role in our community and continues to grow, and from an economic standpoint, the numbers reflect that,” said Kinsey. “Last year’s numbers are very encouraging and, we hope to capitalize on this momentum and soon welcome visitors once again to the Gateway of the Great Northwoods.”
Statewide, traveler spending generated $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue and $1.3 billion in federal taxes. Tax revenue generated by tourism offset $687 in taxes per household. Last year, tourism achieved a Return on Investment of 8 to 1: $8 in tax revenue per $1 promotional spend. In Lincoln County traveler spending generated $6.1 million in state and local tax revenue. Additional economic impact findings, including individual county figures are also available at www.Industry.TravelWisconsin.com.
“Travel plays a critical role in Wisconsin’s economic prosperity. Every year our state’s tourism industry celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week, and the Department of Tourism uses this time to release the previous year’s economic impact numbers,” said Secretary-designee, Sara Meaney. “We know that 2020 will not look like 2019. But the good news is that on the heels of a banner year for Wisconsin travel and tourism, the state has shown itself to be an increasingly sought-after destination, which gives the department confidence that it remains on the radar as a preferred destination for visitors. I encourage you to take pause and celebrate the positive news of 2019 as we look forward to supporting this important industry when it is safe to travel again.”
The Department of Tourism works with international research firms Tourism Economics and Longwoods Internationa