Dept. of Tourism: Governor Walker kicks off National Tourism Week

MEDIA CONTACT:

Lisa Marshall, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

Phone: 608-267-3773

Email: [email protected]

Traveler spending moving in positive direction according to a study released by the Department of Tourism

MADISON, Wis. (May 6, 2011) — Governor Walker kicked off National Travel and Tourism Week by announcing that traveler spending increased 1.8 percent in 2010 according to a study conducted by Davidson-Peterson Associates.

“Tourism is part of Wisconsin’s economic foundation and its continued growth is a priority for my administration because of the nearly 300,000 jobs it supports, the tax revenues it generates and the positive image it projects for the state,” Governor Walker said. “Even after a difficult economic recession where family budgets remained tight, travelers continued to choose Wisconsin for fun and relaxation.”

According to the report released by the Department of Tourism, signs of recovery in Wisconsin’s tourism industry took hold in spring 2010. As the year went on, consumer confidence gained traction and traveler spending showed greater increases each season. It’s anticipated this trend will continue throughout 2011 with traveler spending closing in on the pre-recession levels of 2008.

Season – Expenditures % Change from 2009
Winter – $2,165,461,671 – 4.1%
Spring – $2,486,706,253 + 1.7%
Summer – $4,657,809,069 + 3.1%
Fall – $2,781,768,239 + 4.1%

“The Tourism Department will support this recovery by remaining focused on our primary mission to promote the state through effective marketing and supporting the work of our statewide tourism partners,” Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said. “We know from new research that for every dollar spent on our summer and fall 2010 advertising campaign Wisconsin received $7 in state and local taxes from incremental traveler spending. This return on investment makes a strong case for the role of effective marketing to grow the state’s tourism economy and create jobs for our residents.”

Later this month, the Department will roll out an extensive marketing campaign that will revolve around the theme of “fun” with TV, radio, print, billboard and social media efforts focused throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan.

According to the Davidson-Peterson study, tourism returned $1.37 billion to the state in tax revenues as well as $621 million to local governments. Tourism supported 291,964 full-time equivalent jobs in 2010, gaining 5,500 jobs over 2009. The majority of tourism jobs are directly tied to small businesses. According to data from the Department of Workforce Development, 15,000 businesses with less than 50 employees are currently employing nearly 220,000 of the 292,000 Wisconsin residents who rely on jobs in the tourism industry. A summary of the study is available online as well as a breakdown on traveler spending and economic impact for all 72 counties.

Governor Walker has proposed a stepped up allocation for the Tourism Department’s marketing efforts with an additional $1.191 million in fiscal 2012 and an additional $2.344 million in fiscal 2013. This increase will enable Wisconsin to compete more effectively with its Midwest competitors for the visitor dollars.

National Travel and Tourism Week provides the nation’s tourism industry an opportunity when communities across the country hold events as a way to put the spotlight on the contributions travel makes to the nation’s economy and quality of life. The Governor, Lt. Governor, Tourism Secretary and Deputy Secretary will make public appearances at tourism events and presentations throughout the state to mark the week. The tentative schedule is as follows:

Monday, May 9
Kenosha: Governor
Platteville: Lt. Governor Kleefisch, Secretary Klett
Monroe: Lt. Governor Kleefisch, Secretary Klett
Beaver Dam: Secretary Klett
Green Bay: Deputy Secretary Fantle

Tuesday, May 10
Wauwatosa, Oshkosh: Governor
Milwaukee: Governor, Secretary, Deputy Secretary
Kenosha: Secretary, Deputy Secretary
Madison: Secretary

Wednesday, May 11
La Crosse: Lt. Governor
Sheboygan County: Secretary
Door County: Deputy Secretary
Green Lake: Deputy Secretary

Thursday, May 12
Crandon: Lt. Governor
Oshkosh: Secretary
Manitowoc: Deputy Secretary

Friday, May 13
Lake Geneva/Walworth County: Lt. Governor

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: http://www.travelwisconsin.com.