Wisconsin Dells Ducks

The Power of Tourism

A strong tourism economy means more jobs and tax revenues for Wisconsin. Here are a few facts about the impact tourism has on the state and how the marketing efforts of the Department of Tourism and our industry partners pay off.

TOURISM WORKS FOR WISCONSIN

  • Tourism had a $19.3 billion impact on the state's economy in 2015, up nearly $1 billion, or 4.4% from $18.5 billion in 2014. The total five-year growth of tourism activity is over $4.5 billion, a 30% increase from $14.8 billion.
  • For every $1 the Department spent on summer and fall advertising in 2015, $8 was returned to the state in additional tax revenue.
  • Visitor growth topped 105.2 million in 2015, a five-year increase of 12.7 million.
  • Per trip spending increased 4.4% in 2015, led by lodging with 7.3% growth from 2014.
  • The tourism economy generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue and $1.1 billion in federal taxes.
  • Each household in Wisconsin would need to be taxed an additional $640 per year to replace the revenue tourism generates for state and local governments.
  • Tourism directly and indirectly supports 190,717 jobs in Wisconsin, a five-year addition of more than 18,700 jobs to the state's total employment. 

MARKETING TO GROW TOURISM

  • The Department’s new TV commercials and online videos put a spotlight on Wisconsin, showing travelers “real fun” experiences that are theirs to enjoy.  
  • Tourism generates a positive impression of the state, which is critical for economic development. According to Longwoods International, Wisconsin ranks No. 1 in fun, family atmosphere, uniqueness, affordability and outdoor recreation among its Midwest competitors.
  • In fiscal 2015, the Department funded 59 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $31 million.
  • A record 7.3 million users visited TravelWisconsin.com in 2015, an increase of 36%.

Tourism Grant Programs

  • In fiscal 2015, the Department funded 59 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $31 million.
  • Projects receiving "Ready, Set, Go" sports marketing grants in fiscal 2015 are expected to drive an estimated $7.4 million in visitor spending.
  • The estimated future economic impact of Meetings Mean Business grants funded in fiscal 2015 is $5.8 million.
  • Over 670,000 travelers were served by 21 tourism information centers receiving grants from the Department’s Tourist Information Center (TIC) Grant program.