Wisconsin Tourism Sees Banner Year In 2019

(Madison) Wisconsin tourism had a banner year in 2019. The Tourism Department reports that tourism represented $22.2-billion-dollars in total sales in the state during last year. That figure is three-percent higher than the year before. The findings are part of an annual study conducted by Tourism Economics highlighting continued growth across the state’s tourism industry. Wisconsin saw its biggest year in at least a decade with 113.2-million visitors to the state that generated an estimated $13.7-billion-dollars including $1.6-billion in tax revenue. On the heels of a record year, officials with the Tourism Department know 2020 will be different. Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney says they know 2020 will not look like 2019 but the good news is that Wisconsin has shown itself to be an increasingly sought-after destination. Dodge County saw $84-million spent in 2019, an increase of one-point-five-percent from 2018’s $82.8-million. Beaver Dam Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Tracy Propst says the COVID-19 health emergency will impact tourism and result in many cancelled travel plans. She says if people have to stay close to home for their vacations, there are few places better then Beaver Dam and the surrounding area including the Wild Goose State Trail, the Horicon Marsh and the Beaver Dam Lake. The tourism industry directly or indirectly supports over 200-thousand jobs statewide. Two billion dollars in direct tourist spending was made in Milwaukee County to lead the state. Dane County followed, with Sauk County third.