In honor of Tourism Week, Governor Scott Walker toured Knuckleheads Trampoline, Bowling, & Indoor Amusement Park in Lake Delton on Tuesday to highlight the economic impact of tourism on the region and the state. Governor Walker says that a recent report shows that tourism in Wisconsin is growing.

“The economic impact of tourism in this state has gone up by $700 million, a four percent growth from last year,” said Walker. “It’s up to $17.5 billion economic impact in the state. That’s a tremendous jump. Over the last 3 years, it has gone up 18 percent and the Dells is help leading the way.”

Walker says what that means statewide that over 185,000 are supported by the tourism industry and says the state should continue investing in marketing to bring visitors to the state as well as invest in the global market.

“The marketing got the biggest financial impact, but there are other components. We have some targeted programs for international tourism. We’ve put additional resources in both for the state and for us to partner with other entities like the Council of Great Lakes Governors, Midwestern Governors, and we trying to bring in more international tourists in. Globally, there’s an increase in tourism coming into the United States from other countries and we like to tap into that.”

Walker says other things that draw people to Wisconsin are places for conventions, meetings, and sporting events. The Department of Tourism launches their summer tourism campaign the week of May 12 across Wisconsin, northern Illinois, the Twin Cities, and eastern Iowa.

Highlights of the local economic impact in 2013 for area counties: Adams, Juneau, Columbia, Monroe, Vernon, and Sauk Counties.

  •  Adams County – direct visitor spending increased to $185.7 million, up from $176 million in 2012, a 5.31 percent change.  Adams County ranked 18th in the state for visitor spending in 2013.  Total business sales increased to $234.15 million, up from $221.94 million in 2012, a 5.5 percent increase.  State and local revenue resulting from tourism increased 2.42 percent.
  • Juneau County – direct visitor spending rose 7.26 percent to $59.48 million, up from $55.46 million.  Juneau County ranked 40th in the state for visitor spending in 2013.  Total business sales increased 6.17 percent to $84.27 million, up from $79.37 million.  Tourism related employment grew by 5.6 percent and personal income from tourism related jobs rose 8.51 percent.  State and local revenue resulting from tourism activities increased 7.55 percent.
  • Columbia County – direct visitor spending impact was $110.58 million, up from $106.42 million in 2012, a 3.9 percent increase.  Columbia County ranked 22nd in the state for visitor spending in 2013.  Total business sales rose 4 percent, up to $161.84 million from $155.56 million.  Personal income from tourism related jobs rose 3.85 percent.  State and local revenue resulting from tourism increased 2.37 percent.
  • Monroe County - direct visitor spending impact was $75.36 million, up from $71.41 million in 2012, a 5.53 percent increase. Total business sales rose 4.99 percent, up to $114.45 million from $109.01 million.
  • Vernon County – direct visitor spending impact was $32.06 million, up from $30.77 million in 2012, a 4.19 percent increase. Total business sales rose 4.19 percent to $50.32 million, up from $48.3 million. State and local revenue resulting from tourism increased percent.
  • Sauk County – direct visitor spending increased to $888.48 million, up from $857.23 million, a 3.65 percent gain.  Sauk County ranked third in the state for visitor spending in 2013.  Total business sales rose 4.08 percent, up to $1,134.33 million from $1,089.85 million.  State and local revenue resulting from tourism increased 2.09 percent.

Figures came from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism