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Milwaukee Sees Tourism Increase in 2015

According to data released Friday by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, the Greater Milwaukee area showed solid gains in tourism revenue in 2015.

In Milwaukee County, the largest tourism economy in the state:

  • Total business sales related to tourism were estimated at $3.3 billion (an almost 4 percent increase from 2014).
  • Tourism-supported 31,300 full-time jobs. 
  • Total labor income was $1.1 billion. 
  • State and local tax revenue generated by tourism was $223 million.

In the Greater Milwaukee area, including Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties:

  • Total business sales related to tourism were estimated at $5.1 billion (an increase of 4.1 percent from 2014). 
  • Tourism-supported 50,000 full-time jobs.
  • Total labor income was $1.6 billion.
  • State and local tax revenue generated by tourism was $339 million.

The numbers are estimates from The Economic Impact of Tourism in Wisconsin, an annual tourism impact study commissioned by the state and conducted by Tourism Economics.

“VISIT Milwaukee is proud to report continued growth in leisure, convention and business travelers staying in the region and look forward to seeing that growth continue. Last year was another strong year for tourism in the Greater Milwaukee area with an estimated $5.1 billion in total business sales, contributing to more than 50,000 full-time jobs in our area,” said Paul Upchurch, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee.

In addition, Milwaukee area hotels saw increased hotel revenues of 5.3 percent in Downtown Milwaukee, 6.3 percent in Milwaukee County, and 7.6 percent in Milwaukee West/Wauwatosa.

“As Greater Milwaukee is in the news more and more for its outstanding attractions, restaurants, and events, we will continue to see these numbers improve,” said Upchurch.

VISIT Milwaukee will host its annual meeting on Wednesday, May 12 from 3 - 7 PM at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

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