Tourism & the Visitor Economy: Take the Door County Resident Survey

by JULIE GILBERT, President and CEO, Destination Door County

This column marks one full year that I have been writing to highlight the importance of Door County’s visitor economy. I thank the Peninsula Pulse for the opportunity to provide this information, and I would like to keep encouraging you to reach out to me to provide your thoughts as we continue to move forward as a community shared-values organization.

As part of that evolution, we have initiated a Destination Master Plan process to begin building a shared vision that recognizes key issues and opportunities that will identify the type of destination where we all want to live, work and play, along with a deeper understanding of what visitors want to experience. 

We know it is critical for all voices to be heard – especially the voices of you, our residents. Our goals are to listen and to create a shared vision for making Door County an even better place to live and work, while continuing to make it an appealing place to visit. 

To that end, we would sincerely appreciate your time to complete a survey, which will take about 15 minutes. After completing the survey, you will be entered to win a $100 Door County gift certificate. Survey responses are anonymous, and your email will not be used for any other purpose. Please complete the Door County Resident Survey at

In addition to this survey, we will be hosting two in-person town hall meetings on Wednesday, Sept. 13: at the Sister Bay Fire Department, 9:30-11 am; and at the Sevastopol Town Hall, 5:30-7 pm. We look forward to seeing you there and listening to your comments and suggestions.

We are heading into our busy summer months, which means more traffic and more people throughout the peninsula. In 2022, Door County’s visitor economy had a record-breaking year, generating $582.4 million in total economic activity, according to a new economic-impact report from Tourism Economics, a highly valued, independent global research firm.

This tourism economic-impact study, commissioned by Destination Door County as part of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s annual economic-impact research project, showed that tourism’s total economic impact in Door County increased by $51.7 million over the previous year. 

Direct visitor spending led the way, totaling $466.5 million last year, with indirect and induced spending representing the remaining $115.9 million and bringing the total economic activity from tourism to $582.4 million.

I would like to highlight that Door County’s visitor economy supported a total of 3,335 jobs, which earned local employees $113.3 million in income in 2022. Additionally, $47.8 million in state and local taxes was generated as a result of tourism-related spending.

This represents a significant contribution to help fund local and state government programs and public infrastructure projects while reducing the tax burden on county residents. Each household in Door County would need to be taxed an additional $2,000 to replace the visitor taxes received by state and local governments in 2022.

The positive impacts of Door County’s visitor economy on residents and local families are substantial. Not only did our local businesses and employees earn more to support their families last year, but the increase in tax collections has given us a special opportunity to invest in our parks, local infrastructure projects and other ventures that benefit all of us.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and recommendations to help us continue to grow in a positive direction.