Wisconsin Tourism Spending Up in 2016
19 Jun, 2017
The Department of Tourism released a report showing $20 billion in total visitor spending and $12.3 billion in direct spending in 2016, showing a state wide increase of 3.28% from the previous year.
The $228 million from direct traveler spending in Eau Claire County in 2016 was up from $216 million in 2015. As one of the largest economic drivers in the state, traveler spending supports the local economy with over $29 million in local and state government generated revenue. Top tourism categories for spending include lodging, food, shopping, and recreational activities.
“Tourism’s role in our community 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 show that we are doing the right things to make our community a destination worth traveling to and one where every traveler feels safe.”
In 2016, Visit Eau Claire began their partnership with Fierce Freedom and introduced to the hotel community the Be Aware Campaign. Be Aware is a free training program offered by Visit Eau Claire, Fierce Freedom and the Eau Claire Police Department. The goal of this campaign is to help hotels recognize the signs of human trafficking and sexual exploitation and give them the tools to combat it. On Monday, May 8th, Visit Eau Claire will be hosting a general training session for area hotel staff at 10am. Media are encouraged to attend, as this is an issue that can only be addressed with the community’s full support.
The state of Wisconsin as a whole has experienced over 3% increase in total visitor spending, which in turn positively impacts jobs and tax revenue in our local communities. In the Chippewa Valley alone, tourism spending supported 4,299 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $103 million in wages and salaries.
Visit Eau Claire effectively markets the Eau Claire area as a destination for conventions, group tours, sporting events, 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!