Visitors spent over $191m in Sheboygan County in 2012

Joe Leibham  9th Senatorial District

As the weather in Wisconsin finally starts to warm up families across the state and visiting tourists will to enjoy the many fun activities Wisconsin has to offer. Whether you choose to go fishing in the Northwoods, splash around in the waters of Lake Michigan or enjoy one of our numerous fairs and festivals, Wisconsin is a great vacation destination.

While Tourism is often viewed foremost as a fun activity it offers much more than that. Tourism is a substantial and growing driver of the Wisconsin economy and represents a significant source of business sales, employment, and tax revenue in Wisconsin.

Tourism had a total economic impact of $16.8 billion on the state last year, compared to $16 billion in 2011, which is a five percent increase. Since 2010, the state’s tourism economy has experienced a 13 percent growth from $14.8 billion.

The travel and hospitality industry continues to be a strong performing sector for Wisconsin’s economy. Last year, visitors to our state generated $1.3 billion in state and local revenue and $977 million in federal tax revenue. Each household in Wisconsin would need to be taxed an additional $575 per year to replace the tourism taxes received by state and local governments.

Tourism is also an important job creator in our state. Largely comprised of small businesses, travel and hospitality jobs can’t be outsourced or exported. Nearly 184,000 jobs with a total personal income of $4.5 billion were supported by visitors last year.

Here are a few more quick facts about Tourism in Wisconsin:

1 in every 13 jobs in the state is sustained by tourism activity. · Every time 250 cars cross the state line into Wisconsin for a visit, it equals one job supported and $7,000 in tax revenue. · Wisconsin had nearly 97 million visits from travelers in 2012 up a third year in a row.

Tourism also plays a vital role within the 9th Senate District. We are the home to many tourist attractions such as the fishing of Lake Michigan, the Maritime Museum in Manitowoc and the multiple championship level golf courses in Haven and Sheboygan, just to name a few.

For instance in Sheboygan County there was $191.2 million dollars in direct visitor spending last year, up 6.15% from 2011. In Manitowoc County, visitors have also spent over $100 million dollars in each of the past two years. The tourism industry is also on the rise in Calumet County as visitor spending rose 6.15% to $25.3 million and total business sales are up 5.31% to $49.2 million.

In the past two years the Department of Tourism has created a new “fun” campaign under Travel Wisconsin. Highlighting endless possibilities that summertime in Wisconsin has to offer, the department has released multiple TV, radio and print ads to promote tourism.

While we often do not get to see their efforts, as they target people in other states, the improved Travel Wisconsin initiative has been a worthy investment

For every $1 the Department of Tourism spent on summer and fall advertising in 2012, $6 was returned to the state in additional tax revenue. Investing in tourism promotion and marketing at the national, state, and local level is an effective way to attract visitors and keep the economy growing.

I encourage you to take a look at the efforts of Travel Wisconsin for yourself by visiting their website:

More information on Travel Wisconsin’s summer campaign can be found at: aspx

My family is looking forward to a fun summer in Wisconsin and I encourage you to enjoy our state and help our economy over the next couple of months as well.

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