Milwaukee continues to see growth in tourism numbers

Visitors spending more, tourism supporting more jobs

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

Visitors spent $3 billion at hotels, restaurants, retailers and attractions in the greater Milwaukee area in 2016, according to the latest numbers released from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is Milwaukee’s largest tourist attraction with 6 million visitors a year.

Tourism supported 51,000 full-time jobs last year, up 2 percent over 2015, and the total labor income from tourism was $1.6 billion, an increase of 4 percent from 2015.

Total business sales related to tourism were estimated at $5.25 billion, an increase of 4 percent over 2015. The state and local tax revenue generated by tourism was $350 million, up 2 percent over 2015.

“We are extremely proud that our work at VISIT Milwaukee continues to have such a strong and meaningful impact on Milwaukee and the entire region,” said Paul Upchurch, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. “For five decades, VISIT Milwaukee has marketed our region as a top choice for business, convention and leisure travel, and these economic impact numbers show that we are succeeding in our mission.”

Milwaukee is the state’s largest tourism market, accounting for 20 percent of total tourism economic impact to the state.

The numbers released Friday by VISIT Milwaukee are estimates from The Economic Impact of Tourism in Wisconsin, an annual tourism impact study commissioned by the state and conducted by Tourism Economics and released by Travel Wisconsin in early May to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week.

Read more economic data reports at the BizTracker page.

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