Wisconsin’s tourism economy increased to $20 billion in 2016, up $700 million from 2015, according to an annual study commissioned by the Department of Tourism. Direct visitor spending statewide increased 3.3 percent to over $12 billion as the number of visitors to the state rose from 2015. Altogether, the tourism industry supported 190,000 jobs, accounting for 8.1 percent of jobs in Wisconsin. Tourism also contributed $1.5 billion in tax revenue for the state, saving an average of $650 in taxes per household.
2016 is the seventh straight year of increases in Wisconsin’s tourism economy. The industry has grown 35 percent in the last six years.
“The travel and hospitality industry continues to be crucial to our state and is consistently a top-performing sector of our economy,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a press release. “Investing in tourism promotion and marketing at the national, state, and local level is not only an effective way to attract visitors and grow the economy, it also enhances the image of Wisconsin as a great place to live and do business.”