BAYFIELD COUNTY -- Every year the Wisconsin Department of Tourism releases their annual tourism economic impact numbers to coincide with National Tourism Week. Those numbers were released on Monday and showed Bayfield County among one of the strongest counties in Wisconsin. The reported shows that direct visitor spending for 2018 increased by 4.86 percent statewide. Bayfield Counties direct visitor spending was up 11.58 percent, placing it in the top five of Wisconsin’s seventy-two counties.
Bayfield County was also in the top five for increases in tourism employment and tax revenue and in the top three for increases in total business sales. Bayfield County was well above the statewide average in all those categories.
While both the statewide and regional impact numbers saw strong increases Bayfield Counties numbers were markedly higher than the rest of the region. James Bolen, director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce attributes the strong showing to a surprising factor. ‘It is hard to explain how one county can see such a strong showing. Our neighbors saw the same snowfall, same weather patterns as we did. The entire region has incredible events and tourism folks who deliver great service. I believe these numbers reflect the benefit we see from having high speed fiber connectivity throughout our county.” Bolen went on to explain that he believes visitors stay longer when they have good connectivity to broadband. ‘For years state officials have said there is both an economic and tourism benefit to investing in broadband. I believe we are seeing that proven with these economic impact numbers’.
Chad Young, CEO of Norvado which is headquartered in Cable agrees. “Norvado’s installation of fiber to homes and businesses throughout Bayfield County is driving economic development and tourism”, said Young. “Our investment in fiber is enabling our residents to telecommute, our commercial enterprises to conduct business around the world, and allows visitors to stay connected so they are able to stay in the Northwoods longer than they have in the past.”
The potential impact of broadband expansion for tourism will likely increase even more in the near future. Norvado completed its fiber build out for Bayfield County six years ahead of schedule and just last week announced the purchase of Price County Telephone Company.
For more information contact James Bolen at 715.798.3833