Note: This press release was originally distributed by the office of Governor Tony Evers.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today, together with Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Anne Sayers, announced Wisconsin’s tourism industry saw another record-breaking year in 2023. According to 2023 economic impact data, the tourism industry generated $25 billion in total economic impact, surpassing the previous record year of $23.7 billion set in 2022.

“Wisconsin has so much to offer, from waterslides to watersports, hiking trails to contrails, and world-champion sports teams to world-champion cheese, so it’s no wonder we’ve seen yet another record-breaking year for Wisconsin tourism for the second year in a row,” said Gov. Evers. “These numbers show what an important role our tourism economy plays in our state’s economic success. And this didn’t happen by chance—this happens because of the hardworking folks in this critical industry who work day in and day out to make sure visitors enjoy their time here and come back year after year. We’ve been proud to help support their good work by making smart, strategic investments over the last several years to support Wisconsin’s tourism industry, and our hard work together is clearly paying off.”

In 2023, Wisconsin saw a $25 billion total economic impact, an increase of 5.4 percent from the previous year, welcomed 113 million visits—nearly two million more than the previous year, and saw the highest-ever overnight visits, with nearly 46 million overnight visits last year. This is the second consecutive year of record-breaking overnight visitation. What’s more, overnight visitors, on average, spend almost three times as much as day-trip visitors.

In total, in 2023, all 72 Wisconsin counties saw economic impact growth, and the industry supported more than 178,000 part-time and full-time jobs across various sectors, which is an increase of two percent and generated $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue, up 5.8 percent from 2022.

“Wisconsin tourism powers the economy and strengthens the fabric of communities of all sizes,” said Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Sayers. “The historic impact of tourism reached every corner of Wisconsin and, in doing so, sustained livelihoods for thousands of our friends and neighbors.”

Bolstered by funds provided in the 2019-21 and 2021-23 state budgets signed by Gov. Evers, Travel Wisconsin marketed the state as a premier travel destination in 2023, running advertising campaigns throughout the year. The campaigns, which celebrate Wisconsin’s welcoming nature and celebratory spirit, reached visitors in 12 Midwestern markets.

In addition, the 2023-25 biennial budget signed by Gov. Evers invested approximately $34 million over the biennium to raise Wisconsin’s profile across the country as a premier business, cultural, and recreational destination. This is the largest increase in marketing and advertising funds for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in state history, and with this investment, the department will be able to run a competitive marketing campaign and keep pace with neighboring states.

Further, this exciting announcement comes as, last month, Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) requested the release of $10 million in already-approved funding for the Opportunity Attraction and Promotion Fund created in the 2023-25 biennial budget signed by Gov. Evers to continue Wisconsin’s recent success in recruiting and hosting large-scale events, such as the 2020 Democratic National Convention, the 2021 Ryder Cup, the 2024 Republican National Convention, and the 2025 NFL draft. The Evers Administration submitted a formal s. 13.10 request to the Republican-controlled Joint Committee on Finance to release the $10 million investment. The Republican supermajority on the committee decided to release just $5 million, only half of the amount approved in the biennial budget.

Additionally, last November, Gov. Evers also announced $36.6 million in grants for building projects across the state in Janesville, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Door County that were previously rejected by members of the Wisconsin State Legislature in the 2023-25 Capital Budget process. The governor’s investment is projected to support over 400 jobs and nearly $68 million in economic activity. The effort, funded using American Rescue Plan Act funds, will ensure the projects can move forward and build upon Gov. Evers’ and the Evers Administration’s strategic investments that will have long-term impacts on the state’s tourism industry, workforce, and economy.

Since 2020, Gov. Evers has directed investments totaling more than $1 billion of Wisconsin’s federal pandemic relief funds in economic resilience, and more than $200 million of that total was invested in the travel and tourism, hotels and lodging, and entertainment industries alone.

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.

To learn more about Wisconsin tourism’s record-breaking year, view the 2023 economic data, including a county-by-county breakdown, visit: