Wisconsin has a $12 billion tourism industry, but a coalition of small businesses say the state could be doing much more to attract visitors. Tourism Federation of Wisconsin president Ed Lump says they want lawmakers to spend an extra $2 million in the next state budget on promoting the Badger State.
The increase would bring state spending to about $15 million a year to attract visitors and major events. Lump says other states have seen success with increased spending on tourism, such as $30 million in Michigan for a 2009 campaign. He says the results were pretty astounding for them, generating a large increase in sales tax revenues and making tourism a bright spot in their economy.
Lump says Wisconsin has a lot to offer, and the state Tourism Department could use the extra help getting its message out.