Visitors to the Fox Cities spent $463 million in 2016, a more than $7 million increase over 2015. A study estimates that this spending directly sustained 5,671 jobs in the tourism industry and $103 million in wages and benefits for Fox Cities residents.
“Year after year, our destination proves its attractiveness to visitors in the convention, sports tournament and leisure markets”, commented Pam Seidl, Executive Director of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. Seidl continued, “With yet another year of increase in visitor spending, and having the completion of projects such as the Fox Cities Exhibition Center on the horizon, this certainly is an exciting time for tourism in the Fox Cities”.
According to the study, visitor spending dollars were led by the Food & Beverage sector, totaling $137 million. Two of the industries considered to be the ‘core’ for tourism in our region, lodging and retail, followed with $107 million and $98 million respectively.
Tourism activity in the state of Wisconsin was up for the seventh year in a row, reaching $12.3 billion. Visitor growth in 2016 topped 107.7 million, an increase of 2.4 million more visits than 2015 which then generated total business sales of $20 billion across the state. Tourism also supported 193,454 jobs, or 1-in-12.3 jobs in the state.
The visitor spending figures are part of a statewide economic impact study conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company.