The agency’s Secretary Kelli Trumble calls Wisconsin Tourism a “serious business.”

Travelers spend $13 billion in the state, making tourism Wisconsin’s third leading industry. During an informational hearing at the capitol, Trumble testifies how budget cuts won’t stop her determination to “keep the tourism machine running.” She says 310,000 people depend on tourism jobs in the state. But, Trumble says, the limited buying power of the approximate $8 million marketing dollars her agency has can’t compete with neighboring states.

Trumble says Wisconsin is about more than just leisure travel. It’s about sports travel; business travel; and meetings and convention. She says meetings and convention makes up 30% of the $13 billion of traveler spending. Trumble predicts 2009 economic impact numbers will show tourism spending is down. Various advocates of Wisconsin tourism testified in support of the industry, including hotels, restaurants and resorts.

The Senate Committee on Transportation, Tourism, Forestry, and Natural Resources held an informational hearing on Wednesday at the capitol. Committee Chair Jim Holperin (D-Conover) wanted to focus on initiatives to prepare for the next legislative session.

Jackie Johnson report 1:23

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