Note: This press release was originally distributed by the office of Governor Tony Evers.
OSHKOSH — Gov. Tony Evers, together with Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Anne Sayers, today announced Wisconsin’s tourism industry saw a record-breaking year in 2022. According to 2022 economic impact data, the tourism industry generated $23.7 billion in total economic impact, surpassing the previous record year of $22.2 billion set in 2019.
“I’m so excited to be celebrating a record-breaking year for Wisconsin’s tourism industry. This is tremendous news and a testament to the hard work of the business owners, workers, and marketing partners across the industry and our strategic investments to bolster the industry at an especially difficult time,” said Gov. Evers. “Tourism is vital to the economic health of local communities, businesses, and workers across our state, and I’m proud of our work to support this critical industry and its success over these past few years. We must continue to make key investments in Wisconsin tourism to ensure it continues to be a key part of our economy for generations.”
The economic impact of the travel and tourism industry is felt by communities in every corner of the state, and in 2022, all 72 counties experienced an increase in total tourism economic impact. Further, last year, tourism supported 174,600 part-time and full-time jobs across various sectors of the industry and generated $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenue. Historic marketing investments from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, critical relief dollars allocated by Gov. Evers, and the efforts of communities across Wisconsin helped contribute to the new record, as well as the highest-ever overnight visitation rate.
In 2022, there were 111.1 million visits in Wisconsin, which was up 8.8 million visits, or 8.7 percent, over the previous year. This includes a record 45.4 million overnight visits, an increase of 13.8 percent from 2021. Overnight visitors, on average, spent nearly three times as much as day trip visitors. To learn more about Wisconsin tourism’s record-breaking year and view the 2022 economic impact data, including a county-by-county breakdown, visit: industry.travelwisconsin.com/research.
“Tourism is both big fun and big business. I’m so grateful for the innovation and dedication of the folks who make up the Wisconsin tourism industry. Each one of them played a role in setting this record,” said Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Sayers. “Aided by strategic marketing, Wisconsin convinced more visitors to stay the night so they could add more activities to their itinerary, delivering a deeper economic impact. I congratulate the entire industry on an incredible record-breaking year.”
Since launching the “Here’s to Those Who Wisconsin” brand in 2021, Travel Wisconsin’s advertising campaigns have reached visitors in 12 Midwestern markets and resulted in more than one billion impressions. The brand highlights Wisconsin’s welcoming nature and celebratory spirit while positioning Wisconsin as a premier travel destination to make lifelong memories.
Travel Wisconsin markets Wisconsin as an all-seasons destination, and the economic impact data reflects that as travel spending grew year-over-year in every quarter in 2022.
The Native Nations of Wisconsin also play a critical role in enriching the state’s tourism industry offerings and attracting travelers to the state. Because Tribal tourism data is private, the total economic impact of Tribal tourism is not wholly reflected in this report.