The Tourism Federation of Wisconsin (TFW)
is a lobbying coalition of trade and promotional associations
and organizations actively involved in Wisconsin's tourism
industry. TFW serves as Wisconsin tourism industry's unified
voice in government relations, cooperatively seeking to improve
Wisconsin's tourism industry through supportive
legislation and policies. Recent legislative wins include maintaining Wisconsin's Sept. 1st school start date, supporting a statwide smoking ban and strenghtening Wisconsin's room tax law.
Learn more about TFW's mission, members, issues and resources
through this Web site.
TFW releases it 2013 position paper, calling for continued investment in state and local tourism promotion as well as reforming room tax. Read our position paper.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Studies show that tourism generates $16 billion in business sales in Wisconsin, more than 180,000 jobs and $2 billion dollars in annual tax revenue. In 2011, 95 million visitors to Wisconsin spent $10 billion, 7.6% more than in 2010. Our year-round industry is growing, and helping to jump start Wisconsin’s economy. As our state looks to increase revenues and create jobs and, the tourism and hospitality industry is making a significant contribution.
• Tourism provides Wisconsin with a year-round economic boost. From fishing, hiking and sporting tournaments in the spring, to boating, camping, festivals and conventions in the summer and fall, and snowmobiling and skiing in the winter, tourism brings important economic activity to Wisconsin 365 days a year. Tourism touches every corner of our state in a positive way and creates a multi-billion dollar economic punch.
• If Wisconsin is looking for a growth industry, tourism is it. The tourism industry doesn’t require massive government intervention or huge infrastructure projects; it only requires a solid commitment to making Wisconsin shine as a true star amid the Midwestern Snow Belt. There will also never be a threat to export tourism jobs because you can’t move the mighty Mississippi River out of Wisconsin, and the Dells will always be in Wisconsin Dells. Wisconsin tourism is homegrown and based on our abundant natural resources. People like the way we welcome them to visit our state and enjoy our hospitality.
• Our tourism industry is dominated by thousands of small family-owned and operated businesses around the state. They’re owned by hardworking people who are making a real and positive economic impact on their communities each day. These businesses are run by active and engaged citizens who provide real jobs and are a solid backbone for our state’s economy.
• Other states recognize the economic value of tourism and Wisconsin needs to do more. In 2009, Michigan pumped $30 million into tourism promotion. The net result? More than 680,000 new visitors vacationed in the state and spent $250 million, generating tax revenues and countless new jobs. The evidence shows that the more you invest in tourism, the greater the return. Wisconsin's Governor and Legislature recognized the value of tourism promotion and increased the budget to $15 million per year in July 2010. Travel spending was up nearly 8% in 2011.
• There is strong support in Wisconsin for investing in tourism promotion. A recent statewide public opinion survey showed that 93% of Wisconsin voters agree that "tourism is important to the Wisconsin economy and that 89% said "promoting tourism helps strengthen Wisconsin's economy."
• Our state is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives to keep jobs in Wisconsin, yet by comparison, the modest investment of $13.5 million in tourism promotion annually is creating tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, attracting hundreds of thousands of new visitors to our state and sustaining and/or creating new jobs. The factual evidence is basic. We cut tourism promotion, and we lose. We support tourism, and state taxpayers and our economy win. The WI Department of Tourism reports that or every dollar invested in tourism,
TFW's Tourism Tidbits Newsletter
TOURISM INDUSTRY TOUTS STRONG 2011 SUMMER SEASON
Weather, Closer-to-Home Vacations and Additional State Marketing Seen As Factors - 11/2011
The warm summer breezes may now be just a memory, but many tourism businesses and destinations are still feeling the benefits of a strong summer tourism season. While the complete picture of the summer tourism season won't be available until next year, there are many indicators signaling that Summer 2011 was strong. Several factors played into the successful tourism season. Read more...
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism reported this week that travelers spent an estimated $12 billion in
Wisconsin during 2009, down nearly 8 percent, or $1 billion, from the
prior year. As a result, there were similar percentage decreases in
estimated full-time-equivalents jobs, resident income, and taxes and
fees paid to Wisconsin governments.
Certainly, the economic downturn took a toll on Wisconsin's tourism
industry. People had less discretionary money to spend on their
vacations. It also didn't help that the state has been cutting the
tourism promotion budget significantly during the past year, inviting
fewer people to enjoy our attractions, restaurants, lodging
facilities and destinations.
But, enough bad news. The economy appears to be gradually recovering
and people are starting to travel again. Wisconsin tourism could fare
well in this recovery if it capitalizes on such travel trends as
closer-to-home vacations and more value-conscious consumers. In
addition to offering unique, beautiful and fun places to visit,
Wisconsin is ideally situated near the large population bases of
Chicago and the Minneapolis/St. Paul and has five million residents.
In addition, Wisconsin's tourism product has long been considered to
be a good value.
It is vital for Wisconsin to take advantage of these trends and
properly invest in tourism promotion. Michigan is the most recent
example of how tourism promotion plays an important role in
increasing tourism and government revenues. The state invested $30
million in a one-time national advertising campaign, about twice as
much as it typically budgets for tourism promotion.
A recent study by
Longwoods International found that the national Pure Michigan
campaign motivated 680,000 new trips to Michigan from outside the
Great Lakes region, at a time when travel and tourism was on a
decline nationally due to the recession. Those visitors spent $250
million at Michigan businesses last summer as a direct result of the
Travel Michigan advertising program. In addition, these new
out-of-state visitors paid $17.5 million in state taxes while in
Michigan, yielding a $2.23 return on investment for the tourism
There is strong support in Wisconsin for investing in tourism
promotion. A recent statewide public opinion survey showed that 93%
of Wisconsin voters agree that "tourism is important to the Wisconsin
economy and that 89% said "promoting tourism helps strengthen
Let's listen to our residents and invest more money in tourism
promotion. The result will be more people vacationing and spending
money in our great state at a time when we need the jobs and tax
revenues tourism generates.