Tourism spending in Wisconsin continues its upward trend, and small businesses have much to do with that.
According to a report released by the state’s Department of Tourism in early May, visitors to Wisconsin spent more than $12 billion in the Badger State in 2016, which is an increase of 3.3 percent from the $11.9 billion spent in 2015. Tourism activity over the past six years is up about 35 percent. All told, this means that tourism had a $20 billion impact on Wisconsin’s economy and directly and indirectly supported more than 193,000 jobs in the state.
Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett praised small businesses in particular for this success: “Sixty percent of our tourism businesses are small businesses,” she told Wisconsin Public Radio. “The kind of work that they are doing is really unbelievable.”
Klett also noted that the state’s tourism growth pays dividends for the economy long-term.
“When people come here, and they love your tourism, and they love your state, they’re now more apt to go to school here, or try to get a job here, retire here, buy a second home here,” she told WPR. “And then it packs this huge economic impact, so it’s really a win-win for Wisconsin.”