Visitor spending in Door County rose to $374.4 million in 2019, continuing an 11-year growth trend on the peninsula, according to numbers released by Travel Wisconsin this week. The county ranked eighth in the state in tourism spending.
Tourism-related spending rose 2.1 percent over 2018, and it has increased 45.6 percent since 2009. That spending supported 3,255 jobs.
“Tourism dollars in our community mean more jobs for our residents, more business opportunities for our entrepreneurs, more funding for improved infrastructure like parks and public spaces, and funding to preserve and showcase our history and traditions,” said Louise Howson, coordinator of the Sister Bay Advancement Association.
But the impact didn’t end there. Tourism spending generated $39.2 million in state and local taxes, including $5.13 million in room taxes. Since 2009, when the county first began collecting room tax, returns are up 68 percent.
Statewide tourism generated $22.2 billion in economic impact for the year and supports 5.4 percent of all jobs in Wisconsin.
“Our tourists are our extended family, so tourism dollars go far beyond what they provide to us economically,” said Pam Seiler, director of Destination Sturgeon Bay. “Tourism tax dollars allow us to put on events, market our community and certainly help to support our businesses.”