November 26, 2014

Wisconsin tourism off to good start in 2014

Numbers released last week show tourism was up in 2013, and 2014 is already off to a great start.

Wisconsin Tourism is up 4 percent in 2013 from the previous year. And that doesn’t account for the nearly 140,000 sight-seers who flocked up north at the beginning of this year.

Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett says money spent by those viewing the world-famous ice caves will be factored into 2014 tourism numbers. “The 2013 numbers … the ice caves didn’t exist.” Klett notes Lake Superior hadn’t yet frozen over, creating access to the ice caves, “So that will come out for 2014.”

The tourism department released numbers last week showing Wisconsin tourism was up $700 million from 2012 to 2013. If the number of visitors to the ice caves are any indication, Klett says tourism revenue for 2014 will be even better yet.

“Oh sure, I mean, they have never had 130,000 visitors come in such a short period of time. In fact, we work very closely with Bayfield County, helping visitors know where to stay, where to eat.”

It was so busy, Klett says, residents in all the surrounding communities banded together to help make it a great experience for everyone. Total visitor spending in 2013 was $17.5 billion.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report :79