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Walworth County seeing an increase in direct tourism spending

Lake Geneva Cruise Line
Posted at 5:29 AM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 09:26:29-04

Beaches, stores and restaurants are expected to be packed for the Fourth of July weekend in Walworth County. The county is seeing a tourism boom. Over the past 10 years, direct tourism spending has increased. In 2021 tourists spent $595 million, which is almost 36% percent higher than in 2020 and $10 million more than its record year in 2019.

"It has a little bit of everything. A number of communities from lavish resorts to quiet festivals," said Ellen Burling, president of the board for the Walworth County Visitor Bureau.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, out of 72 counties, Walworth County ranks 6th in tourism spending. That's $150 million more than the popular Door County. Burling said with high gas prices people are choosing to stay in Walworth County versus traveling longer distances up north.

"I think our proximity is ideal," said Burling.

On Tuesday morning, Kimberly Radtke from Oshkosh visited the area with her family.

"We gave a lot of fun things Wisconsin to do, little day trips like this," said Radtke.

Burling said another reason why people are drawn to the area is because of the variety of activities that are offered, and each town has its own local charm.

It is not just Lake Geneva that's benefiting. Business owners in Williams Bay said they are also seeing an increase in foot traffic and this Fourth July weekend they anticipate beaches, stores, restaurants, and shops to be packed.

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