For the nearly 97 million travelers that visited Wisconsin it’s all about the fun and memories, but for the state’s taxpayers and residents, it’s all about the jobs and tax revenue those travelers support. A study conducted by Tourism Economics shows that impact of tourism on the state’s economy was $16.8 billion in 2012, up 5% from the previous year.
Locally, travelers to Eau Claire County spent $309 million in 2012 and $189 million of that was direct tourism spending. Among the contributing factors for local tourism growth was a marketing campaign that focused on the area’s unique natural resources and recent retail developments in the downtown district.
"Tourism plays a critical role in our community and continues to grow, and from an economic standpoint, the numbers reflect that," said Linda John, Executive Director at Visit Eau Claire. "Last year’s numbers are very encouraging and we hope to capitalize on this momentum in the coming summer season with a strong promotional campaign that defines our brand and targets potential visitors with a message that resonates."
Statewide, traveler spending generated $1.3 billion in state and local revenue and $977 million in federal taxes.
"The past two years have been outstanding for Wisconsin’s tourism industry and the two-year $2 billion growth that is reported in the research confirms what we hear from businesses and destinations as I travel the state," said Secretary Klett. "Investing in tourism promotion and marketing at both the state and local level is an effective way to attract visitors, enhance the state’s image and keep the economy growing."
The Department of Tourism worked with a national research firm Longwoods International and Tourism Economics to produce the reports.
About Visit Eau Claire: Visit Eau Claire effectively markets the Eau Claire area as a destination for conventions, group tour, and leisure markets; to promote regional economic growth; to enhance the area’s overall identity and image; to sell fun, promote fun, and most importantly – Have FUN!