Increase in tourism is good for your wallet

CREATED May 6, 2013

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MADISON - There's a reason to love all those Illinois license plates.  Tourists spend a lot of money in Wisconsin. 

A new report from the state Tourism Department finds tourism was worth nearly 17-billion dollars to Wisconsin's economy last year.  The report says 184,000 jobs in the state are supported by tourism.

The money has a direct impact on your pocketbook.  "Each household in Wisconsin would need to be taxed an additional $575 a year to replace the tourism taxes received by state and local governments," said Deputy Tourism Secretary Dave Fantle.

"The more successful we are, the more tourism dollars we bring into the state, the more that translates into dollars in local and state tax coffers," Fantle said.  "It's all intertwined."

The state spends a lot of money marketing itself.  Fantle says it's paid off.  "We've seen a steady increase in our tourism marketing budget.  With that has come a steady increase of tourism expenditures in the state of Wisconsin."

Governor Walker has proposed a $500,000 increase in tourism marketing in his next budget.