Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839

Milwaukee – Governor Scott Walker spoke to around 900 tourism industry representatives today in Milwaukee about the state of tourism in Wisconsin and its impact on the economy at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

“Wisconsin’s tourism industry plays an important role in moving Wisconsin forward, ultimately impacting job creation, workforce development, and economic growth,” Governor Walker said. “Tourism has a more than $19 billion impact on the economy in Wisconsin – that’s up 30 percent over five years. More than 190,000 jobs depend on tourism. It’s a really big deal!”

The Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism attracts innkeepers, restaurateurs, local tourism officials, attraction operators, state agency officials, tourism educators, and other representatives of the hospitality industry. The conference is Wisconsin’s largest educational and networking event for the tourism industry. For more information, click here.

At the conference, Governor Walker joined Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett in introducing new summer and fall ad campaigns by the Department of Tourism, which focuses on fun in Wisconsin. Two new summer commercials put a spotlight on traditions featuring a real family that has been vacationing in the state for decades. The fall TV spot showcases the state’s spectacular fall foliage with new drone footage. These television ads can be viewed at New for 2017, the state will be tapping into the St. Louis market with its summer ad campaign.

In 2015, tourism had a $19.3 billion impact on Wisconsin’s economy, according to Tourism Economics, the research firm commissioned by the Department of Tourism. The total five-year growth of tourism activity is up more than $4.5 billion, a 30 percent increase from $14.8 billion. Tourism supports nearly 190,717 jobs throughout the state, adding more than 18,700 jobs to the state’s total employment since 2011. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue, thus saving taxpayers $640 per household. The 2016 tourism economic impact figures will be available in May.

According to Longwoods International, a leader in travel research, Wisconsin ranks Number 1 in the Midwest for fun, family atmosphere, uniqueness, affordability, and outdoor recreation. The Department of Tourism’s new ad campaign celebrates these qualities by showcasing family vacations, scenic locations, and iconic travel experiences.

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