The Wisconsin Department of Tourism announced that tourism’s impact on the state’s economy reached $22.2 billion in 2019. The findings are a part of a study conducted by Tourism Economics, highlighting continued growth across the state’s tourism industry.
Destinations Wisconsin represents 39 destinations marketing organizations (DMOs) that promote and advocate for tourism in their communities, located in 35 of the state’s 72 counties. In 2019, those counties generated 73% of the state’s record $22.2 billion in total business sales. The Wisconsin tourism industry generated 202,217 jobs and $1.6 billion in state and local taxes, which is equivalent to $687 in tax savings for every household. For every $1 spent on tourism promotion, $8 is returned in tax revenue.*
The announcement comes as Wisconsin’s tourism industry celebrates National Travel &Tourism Week (May 3-9) and plans for an economic bounce back from COVID-19 when public health authorities determine it is safe to do so.
While we reflect on a successful 2019, we also must meet head-on the hardships we face. Destinations Wisconsin members are funded largely by room tax and are facing 30-70 percent budget cuts, have laid off staff and slashed marketing budgets for the remainder of the year. There will be an estimated $14 million less spending on local destination marketing by our members this year. However, our DMOs and our tourism industry partners are resilient and will work together to bring back our tourism economy.