Wisconsin Tourism Industry Sets New Record

Date: June 17, 2024

The Department of Tourism reports Wisconsin’s tourism industry had another record breaking economic impact year in 2023.

In 2023, the industry had an economic impact of $25 billion – an increase  of 5.4 percent – breaking the previous record of $23.7 billion in 2022 and passing the prior record of $22.2 billion in 2019.

“We’re becoming a little less of a hidden gem and just simply a gem,” said Craig Trost, Communications Director for the Department of Tourism, “and as Wisconsin gets added to more and more people’s bucket lists, we really benefit from that exposure.”

Wisconsin welcomed 113 million visits, according to the report, an increase of nearly two million over the previous year, and also experienced 46 million overnight visits, the highest ever for any previous year.

Ann Sayers, Secretary of the Department of Tourism said, “it’s rewarding to see how 113 million visitors sustained small businesses, created livelihoods and helped thousands of friends and neighbors pursue their passions.”

The 2023-25 state budget, approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Tony Evers appropriated $34 million to “raise Wisconsin’s profile across the country as a premier business, cultural and recreational destination,” according to the Tourism Department.

During 2023, all 72 counties had some economic growth driven by tourism spending, and strengthening our local communities, supporting the small businesses that dominate the tourism industry throughout Wisconsin.

The 2023 report also noted tourism supported 178,000 jobs and generated $1.6 billion in local and state revenue, an increase of 5.8 percent from 2022.

“Wisconsin tourism powers the economy and strengthens the fabric of communities of all sizes,” said Secretary Sayers, “the historic impact of tourism reached every corner of Wisconsin, and in doing so, sustained livelihoods for thousands of friends and neighbors.”

NFIB, a member of the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin, a strong supporter of Wisconsin’s tourism industry, supports funding for tourism promotion and also is strongly opposed to changing state law that would allow public schools to commence the fall term before September 1st.

Related Content: Small Business News | Wisconsin

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