Visitors to the Fox Cities spent $456 million, 5% more than in 2014. A study estimates that this spending sustained 5,661 jobs in the tourism industry and $99 million in wages and benefits for Fox Cities Residents.
“The tourism economy in the Fox Cities has grown more than 5% year over year for the past three years. This is an unprecedented trend and speaks to the attractiveness of our destination for visitors in the convention, sports tournament and leisure markets,” commented Pam Seidl, Executive Director of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. Seidl continued, “The Fox Cities continues to outpace the state in growth as well. Our share of visitor spending increased to 3.82% in 2015.”
According to the study, 30% of visitor spending dollars were spent on food and beverage, totaling $134 million. Strong spending growth was seen in both lodging and retail sectors as well, two of the industries considered to be the ‘core’ for tourism in our region. In order to replace the tourism taxes received by state and local governments, each household in the Fox Cities would need to be taxed an additional $940 per year.
Tourism activity in Wisconsin was up for the sixth year in a row, reaching $11.9 billion. Visitor growth in 2015 topped 105.2 million, an increase of 3 million more visits than 2014 which then generated total business sales of $19.3 billion across the state. Tourism also supported 190,171 jobs, or 1-in-12.5 jobs in the state.
The visitor spending figures are part of a statewide economic impact study conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company.
About the Bureau
The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau is an economic development organization that strengthens the Fox Cities by attracting visitors in the convention, sports and leisure markets through sales, marketing and destination development.