The Wisconsin Department of Tourism announced Monday, May 4, that tourism’s impact on the state’s economy reached $22.2 billion in 2019.
Travelers to Douglas County spent about $106.4 million in 2019, a 3% increase from 2018, a news release said.
The findings are a part of a study conducted by Tourism Economics highlighting continued growth across the state’s tourism industry.
“I am thrilled to see these numbers confirm the positive impact that tourism had on our local economy during the 2019 year,” said Taylor Pedersen, president and CEO of Travel Superior, in the news release. “Tourism continues to be one of our largest economic drivers as a region.”
Last year, tourism supported 202,217 jobs, and visitor trips topped 113.2 million visits statewide, an increase of 1.1 million from 2018. In Douglas County, the hospitality and tourism industry supported 1,377 jobs , generating $31.3 million in total labor income in 2019.
Among the contributing factors for local tourism growth included the Wisconsin Point Dune Restoration Project, the revamp of the Barker’s Island beach area and the expanded ATV and snowmobile routes to Superior’s business centers, according to Travel Superior.
The announcement comes as Wisconsin’s tourism industry celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week (May 3-9) and plans for an economic bounce back when public health authorities determine it is safe, the news release said.
Statewide, traveler spending generated $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue and $1.3 billion in federal taxes. Tax revenue generated by tourism offset $687 in taxes per household. Douglas County visitors generated about $11.8 million in state and local taxes, the news release said.
Tourism achieved an 8-1 return on investment. For every $1 spent to promote tourism, $8 in tax revenue was generated, Travel Superior said.
“Travel Superior continues to promote and have a presence even in these very uncertain times for tourism, it is important to stay top of mind and let tourists know that we are ready to welcome them in the future,” Pedersen said in the news release. “Although we realize that 2019 was one of our best years for tourism on record, we are aware that 2020 won’t look the same, but we are hopeful that this momentum will continue once things open back up and it is safe to travel and welcome our visitors once again.”