2016 Tourism Impact Report


Forest County Visitor Spending

Shows 6.59% Increase

For the travelers that helped Wisconsin achieve a $700 million increase in tourism economic impact in 2016, it’s all about the fun and memories. For the state’s tourism industry, it’s big business. And for taxpayers and residents, it’s all about jobs and tax revenue those travelers generate. A study conducted by Tourism Economics shows the impact of tourism on the state’s economy reached $20 billion in 2016, an increase of 3.5 percent from the previous year.

Locally, travelers to Forest County spent $13.8 million in 2016. Among the contributing factors for local tourism growth was an increase in the number of visitors to the county as a result of improved marketing of the area’s events, its businesses and attractions, and multi-seasonal recreation opportunities. Participation in regional collaborative efforts and groups produced results, as well.

The Forest County Chamber of Commerce is excited to see that 2016 was another year of growth in tourism revenues. “Tourism plays a critical role in the economy of our area and has big potential to bring in much more revenue,” said Executive Director Melinda Otto. “Last year’s numbers are very encouraging and we hope to improve those numbers this year with impactful projects and unified promotional efforts with Forest County Tourism, Forest County Economic Development Partnership and Forest County Advertising.”

Statewide, traveler spending generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue and $1.1 billion in federal taxes.  “Traveler spending has grown an average of 4.5% per year since 2011,” Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said. “It’s a tremendous credit to the tourism industry in all 72 counties and the work they do to create fun vacation experiences, market their destinations, and provide great customer service that makes travelers want to return to Wisconsin each year.”

Tourism continues to be one of Wisconsin’s most important economic resources. Research shows that tourism advertising goes beyond just promoting vacations; it also positively influences the state’s overall image as a great place to live, find a job, or open a business.
Klett added, “These results also let us know what we are doing is working and that investing in tourism not only benefits the economy, it also influences the way people think about Wisconsin.”

The Department of Tourism worked with a national research firm Tourism Economics and Longwoods International to produce the reports.


Check out the Forest County Tourism Fact Sheet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *