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Studies show that tourism generates $21 billion in economic impact in Wisconsin, more than 199,000 jobs and $1.6 billion dollars in annual state and local tax revenue. In 2018, an estimated 112 million visitors to Wisconsin spent $13.3 billion, 5% more than in 2017. Our year-round industry continues to grow, and is helping to improve 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.

• Our state is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives to keep jobs in Wisconsin, yet by comparison, the modest investment of $15 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, $7
was returned to state and local governments in incremental tax revenue.


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