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Economic Impact Of Tourism 2016

Media contact: Jon Jarosh, or 920-818-1133

Visitor spending in Door County was up $18.2 million dollars last year according to a report released today by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.  The state's tourism economic impact report comes on the eve of National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs from May 1-7, 2016.

Door County visitors spent $332.8 million in 2015, an increase of 5.79% over the $314.6 million dollars spent by visitors in 2014.

Overall visitor spending in Wisconsin totaled $11.9 billion last year according to an annual economic impact study prepared for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism by Tourism Economics.  That’s a statewide increase of 4.4% compared to the $11.4 billion visitors spent in Wisconsin in 2014.

In Door County, the $332.8 million visitors spent last year supported 3,110 jobs and $70.8 million in labor income.  Visitor spending also generated $35.9 million in state and local taxes, an increase of $1.7 million, or 5.13%, over 2014.

Jack Moneypenny, President and CEO of the Door County Visitor Bureau (DCVB), said the annual economic impact figures continue to show how vital the travel industry is to the state and to Door County. “Since the late 1800s the tourism industry has played an integral role in supporting Door County’s economy,” he said. “We are pleased to see the seventh consecutive year of visitor spending growth, and along with it, the positive impacts increased spending has throughout our destination.”

In Door County, the incremental growth in annual tourism spending during those seven years has added up to $75.7 million, a 29.4% increase since 2009. Room tax collections increased 36.52% during that same time span, from $3.02 million in 2009 to $4.13 million last year. 2009 is a notable year as it was the first year that all 19 of Door County's municipalities were part of the Door County Tourism Zone.

"The economic data released today shows that our promotional efforts and use of room tax dollars continue to help move our economy forward," Moneypenny continued. "Marketing initiatives for 2016 are well underway and early signs point to another strong year for tourism in the county," he said. 

Door County ranked eighth among the state’s 72 counties in visitor spending last year with Milwaukee County topping the list followed by Dane, Sauk, Waukesha, Brown, Walworth and Outagamie counties.

Download a two-page fact sheet on the economic impact of tourism in Door County here.

The DCVB plans to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week by hosting a Door County Travel and Tourism Breakfast on Tuesday May 3 at Maxwelton Braes Resort in Baileys Harbor. Spirit of Door County scholarship winners and the Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year award will be handed out at the breakfast event. Additionally, the DCVB will distribute an 8-page tourism information brochure county-wide to help inform residents on the positive impacts tourism has on the community.

The Door County Visitor Bureau is the official tourism marketing organization for Door County, whose mission is to generate incremental economic impact for the community by attracting visitors with strategies that ensure sustainable tourism.