Gov. Scott Walker
Press Release

Governor Scott Walker Highlights Success of Tourism Industry at Governor’s Conference on Tourism

The total six-year growth of tourism activity is up more than $5.2 billion, a 35% increase since Governor Walker took office.

By - Mar 12th, 2018 09:46 am

MILWAUKEE – Governor Scott Walker spoke to approximately 900 tourism industry representatives today in Appleton 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. “Last year, the advertising campaigns developed by Tourism reached hundreds of thousands of people and we saw more visitors to our state, which resulted in higher tax revenue. The tourism industry plays a significant contribution to ensuring Wisconsin is a place where people want to live and retire, travelers want to visit, and companies want to start their business.”

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 the state’s new tourism ad campaign. One commercial features wheelchair basketball star and Paralympic gold medalist Matt Scott enjoying some of his favorite things to do in Wisconsin. A second ad puts the spotlight on Gemutlichkeit, a German word that describes the spirit of Wisconsin and the state’s innate ability to give travelers a sense of belonging, friendship, and cheer. The television ads can be viewed at

In 2016, tourism had a $20 billion impact on Wisconsin’s economy, according to Tourism Economics, the research firm commissioned by the Department of Tourism. The total six-year growth of tourism activity is up more than $5.2 billion, a 35% increase since Governor Walker took office. Visitors generate $1.5 billion in state and local revenue annually which saves taxpayers $650 per household each year. Tourism has also created 21,500 new jobs in the last six years. The industry now supports 193,500 jobs in Wisconsin. Economic impact figures for 2017 will be available in early May.

According to Longwoods International, a leader in travel research, Wisconsin ranks No. 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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