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Wisconsin tourism industry generates $21.6 billion

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Posted at 10:53 AM, May 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 11:53:58-04

MADISON (AP) — Wisconsin's tourism industry generated $21.6 billion last year.

That's according to a new report from the state Department of Tourism. The report says visitor spending rose nearly 5% in 2018 to $13.3 billion. Tourism brought in $1.2 billion in federal taxes, $879 million in state taxes and $703 million in local taxes.

"Wisconsin’s tourism industry plays a critically important role in our state’s economy,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a news release. “Investing in tourism means investing in Wisconsin. When we invest in protecting our state’s natural resources and promoting our state’s attractions and events, we ensure that economic development is a 72-county strategy in Wisconsin."

Most of the growth is tied to recreational activities.

Department of Tourism spokeswoman Kristina LeVan noted several large events drew visitors to the state last year, including Milwaukee Brewers playoff games, the CrossFit Games in Madison and Harley-Davidson's 115th anniversary celebration in Milwaukee.