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Tourism Spending Up $15 Million in Door County Last Year

Media Contact: Jon Jarosh, 920/818-1133 or

Door County, Wis.  Visitor spending in Door County was up $15 million dollars last year according to a report released today by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.  The state's tourism economic impact report comes just before the start of National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs from May 7-13, 2017. 

Door County visitors spent $347.8 million in 2016, an increase of 4.5% over the $332.8 million dollars spent by visitors in 2015.

Overall visitor spending in Wisconsin totaled $12.3 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 3.3% compared to the $11.9 billion visitors spent in Wisconsin in 2015.

In Door County, the $347.8 million in direct visitor spending last year supported 3,178 jobs and $75.1 million in labor income.  Visitor spending also generated $37.5 million in state and local taxes, an increase of $1.4 million (3.68%) over 2015. Total business sales from tourism, which includes direct and indirect spending, totaled $442.8 million in 2016, an increase of 4.35% over last year.

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. “We are pleased to see the eighth consecutive year of visitor spending growth, and along with it, the positive impacts that increased spending has within our destination,” Moneypenny said.

In Door County, the incremental growth in annual tourism spending over those eight years has added up to $90.7 million, a 35.28% increase since 2009. Room tax collections increased 47.33% during that same time span, from $3.02 million in 2009 to $4.45 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.

Door County ranked seventh, up one spot, among the state’s 72 counties in visitor spending last year with Milwaukee County topping the list followed by Dane, Sauk, Waukesha, Brown and Walworth counties. Moneypenny said this is noteworthy given Door County’s population of around 28,000 compared to the larger year-round metropolitan destinations in the state that comprise the rest of the top 10 counties for tourism spending.

The DCVB will celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week by hosting a Door County Travel and Tourism Breakfast event on Wednesday May 10 at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. Spirit of Door County scholarship winners will be announced and the Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year award will be handed out, and keynote speaker Mikki Williams will discuss the “Art and Heart of Storytelling.”

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.