• WisBusiness

Gov. Doyle: Governor to Announce Increase in 2003 Tourism Numbers

Jerry Huffman, Department of Tourism, 608-261-8195

Jessica Erickson, Governor's Office, 608-261-2156

Travelers Spent More Than $11.7 Billion in Wisconsin Last Year

Governor Jim Doyle will announce later today in his keynote address at the Governor's Conference on Tourism that travelers spent more than $11.7 billion in Wisconsin last year despite tough economic times and unpredictable weather. Winter showed the greatest percentage increase of all four seasons. Overall, 2003 travel expenditures increased 1.24 percent compared to the 2002 revised figures.

"Tourism is a top contributor to Wisconsin's economy," Governor Doyle said. "These numbers say a great deal about Wisconsin's travel and hospitality industry. The ability of industry representatives to adapt to the challenges of the unstable travel market is one of our greatest strengths."

Governor Doyle will speak at the 18th Annual Governor's Conference on Tourism Banquet at 8:15 p.m. tonight at Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay.

The Department of Tourism conducted the annual research study and, for the first time, tracked all four seasons. Besides showing a 3.24 percent increase in winter travel expenditures, the new breakdown shows that fall is the second most popular travel season in both 2002 and 2003.

* Winter (December 2002 to February 2003) expenditures totaled $2.17 billion - a 3.24 percent increase compared to the period December 2001 to February 2002.

* Spring (March to May 2003) expenditures totaled $2.52 billion - a 0.24 percent increase from 2002.

* Summer (May to August 2003) expenditures totaled $4.26 billion - a 0.79 percent increase over 2002.

* Fall (September to November 2003) expenditures totaled $2.75 billion - a 1.35 percent increase over 2002.

Davidson Peterson Associates Inc., a firm specializing in tourism economic impact research, compiled the figures for the Department of Tourism. Traveler expenditures were measured from December 2002 to November 2003. Data highlighting employment figures, traveler economic impact by county, and government revenues will be available in early May in conjunction with National Tourism Week.

More than 1,000 state tourism professionals attended the 2004 Governor's Conference on Tourism, the largest tourism conference in the nation. The Department of Tourism announced Madison as the site for the 2005 Governor's Conference on Tourism.

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