Fox Cities, more Wisconsin communities set tourism records

Gov. Evers said 2022 was a record-breaking year for the state’s tourism industry.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:36 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2023 at 10:27 AM CDT
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Updated with an interview with the Fox Cities Convention and Visitor Bureau president on the new tourism records

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Gov. Evers said 2022 was a record-breaking year for the state’s tourism industry. According to a statement from the governor’s office, the tourism industry generated $23.7 billion in total economic impact, surpassing the previous record year of $22.2 billion set in 2019.

The governor’s statement said 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.

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, the governor’s office said.

We spoke with Pam Seidl, president of the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, on Action 2 News at 4:30. Both the Fox Cities and Green Bay announced benefits from the record-breaking year.

The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau said direct visitor spending in the Fox Cities skyrocketed to a record-breaking $558 million in 2022, up 20% over 2021. This spending pushed the total economic impact of tourism in the Fox Cities to $729 million.

Spending directly supported 4,879 jobs in the Fox Cities tourism industry with employee income of $141 million. State and local tax revenue generated by visitation to the Fox Cities totaled $62 million, a 12% increase over 2021.

Discover Green Bay said in an independent study with industry leader, Tourism Economics, it shows that 6 million people visited Brown County last year leading to a total direct spend of $765 million dollars, a 20 percent increase from 2021.

The total economic impact of these visitors to the county was $1.3 billion dollars, Discover Green Bay said. This breaks the previous 2019 record by nearly $100 million and an increase of nearly 16 percent over 2021. Visitors generated $96 million in local and state tax revenue.

Door County officials said Door County’s visitor economy supported a total of 3,335 jobs, which earned local job holders $113.3 million in labor income in 2022.