Letter from Rep. Danou: Good news for Tourism in WisconsinThe sign that greets people when they enter the State of Wisconsin proudly displays three words. These words hold up our state and act as the legs of our tripod economy – agriculture, industry and recreation.
By: Rep. Chris Danou, Pierce County Herald
The sign that greets people when they enter the State of Wisconsin proudly displays three words. These words hold up our state and act as the legs of our tripod economy – agriculture, industry and recreation.
While all three of these are equally important to the uniqueness of our state, I’d like to focus on recreation because its part of our history, culture and economy that makes Wisconsin a great place to work, live and play. Recreation brings people to Wisconsin year-round and makes our state a tourism destination.
Despite a strong and consistent tourism industry, it became clear that there was even greater potential and room to grow. In response to their request, the legislature authorized an additional $2.5 million to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s promotional budget during the last budget cycle. With this small investment, Wisconsin witnessed a 6:1 return on that investment. In other words, for every dollar spent by the state promoting tourism in Wisconsin, six dollars return to the state through tax revenue.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, traveler spending in 2011 grew 8 percent over 2010 and generated 180,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in state and local government tax revenue. More than 95 million people visited the state in 2011, generating a $16 billion impact on the state's economy. This is very good news for tourism and the state’s promotional investment.
Tourism provides Wisconsin with a year-round economic boost. The spring season brings fishing, hiking and sporting tournaments, summer and fall bring boating, camping, festivals and other activities and conventions and winter brings snowmobiling, ice fishing and skiing. Tourism highlights Wisconsin culture and brings important economic activity to every corner of our state 365 days a year.
I’d like to take a moment to thank the thousands of family-owned and operated small businesses that help keep our tourism industry, and ultimately, a significant part of our state’s economy pumping. The hard work these people do helps our local economy and gives our community a unique identity that contributes to Wisconsin’s culture and economic well-being.
For planning assistance and more information about events, travel opportunities and tourism in Wisconsin, visit the Department of Tourism’s website http://www.travelwisconsin.com. I hope you get time this summer season to enjoy the recreational opportunities Wisconsin has to offer!