Travelers Spend $11.9 Billion in Wisconsin in 2015

national travel & tourism week

National Travel and Tourism Week – America’s annual salute to travel and tourism – serves to champion the power of the tourism industry. This week, travel and tourism professionals from across the nation promote the importance of tourism, including its economic impact on their communities. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism announced a nearly $1 billion increase in tourism economic impact in 2015. 

Ascedia looks forward to this week each year as we get some additional insight into how our tourism clients have grown. Ascedia develops digital solutions for a variety of destination marketing organizations, including TravelWisconsin.com, VisitKenosha.com and ElkhartLake.com.  All three areas experienced tourism expenditure growth in 2015. Following are some highlights:

  • Tourism had a $19.3 billion impact on the state's economy in 2015, up nearly $1 billion, or 4.4% from $18.5 billion in 2014. The total five-year growth of tourism activity is over $4.5 billion, a 30% increase from $14.8 billion.
  • For every $1 the Department spent on summer and fall advertising in 2015, $8 was returned to the state in additional tax revenue.
  • Visitor growth topped 105.2 million in 2015, a five-year increase of 12.7 million.
  • Per-trip spending increased 4.4% in 2015, led by lodging with 7.3% growth from 2014.
  • The tourism economy generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue and $1.1 billion in federal taxes.
  • Kenosha County direct visitor spending increased 8.1% in 2015.
  • Sheboygan County direct visitor spending increased 5.7% in 2015.
  • A record 7.3 million users visited TravelWisconsin.com in 2015, an increase of 36%.
  • Ascedia’s work for TravelWisconsin.com has been honored with 14 awards, most recently a Communicator Award

“These results let us know that what we have been doing over the last five years is working,” said Secretary Stephanie Klett. “It’s a tremendous credit to the tourism industry in all 72 counties and the innovative work they do to create exciting vacation experiences, market their destinations under our united brand of fun, and provide great customer service that makes travelers want to return to Wisconsin time and again.”

Tourism continues to be one of Wisconsin’s most important economic resources. Research continues to shows that tourism advertising goes beyond just promoting vacations, it also positively influences the state’s overall image as a great place to live, find a job, or open a business.

When working with DMOs, Ascedia strives to support the traveler through each stage of the traveler journey, from dreaming through commemoration. We want to empower travelers to find fun in Wisconsin and ultimately grow tourism expenditures in Wisconsin. We’re thrilled to see this approach continue to contribute to the industry’s growth. 

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