WASHBURN COUNTY -- The Wisconsin Department of Tourism released its 2021 economic impact data today, showing Wisconsin tourism generated a $20.9 billion in total economic impact, with Washburn County contributing $48 million (a 24% increase from 2020) in total economic impact.

In 2021, Washburn County tourism generated more than 483 full and part-time jobs across diverse sectors of the industry, up 11.2 percent over 2020.

“The recovery in Washburn County has been exactly what we had hoped for,” stated Michelle Martin, Executive Director. “Our team at Washburn County Tourism Association never slowed down and took on large-scale projects that we knew would boost our tourism industry in the future. We’re thrilled to see not only our hard work pay off, but the hard work of each and every business in Washburn County.”

Washburn County Tourism Association focused on strategic planning, updating their brand guidelines, re-defining positions and roles in the organization, launching a brand-new website and database, as well as enhancing their marketing strategy to launch the tourism industry in the county to the next level. “One of our goals from strategic planning was to create an outreach position to better serve our businesses and organizations in Washburn County. As the new Visitor Experience & Outreach Director, I’m excited to be moving ahead with our new outreach initiatives,” stated Kaitlin Hanson. “Our goal is to connect and support our businesses and organizations to provide a thriving tourism industry for our county.”

Statewide, economic impact increased 21 percent in 2021, with all 72 counties reporting double-digit growth over 2020. Additionally, tourism supported more than 169,700 full and part-time jobs statewide across diverse sectors of the industry, up 7 percent over 2020. Wisconsin also hosted over 102.3 million visitor trips in 2021, up 12 percent from 2020.

“Wisconsin’s tourism recovery is something to be proud of. These successes are the result of intentional and strategic action by everyone who makes up our industry,” said Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary-designee, Anne Sayers. “I feel so fortunate to work alongside all of our hospitality partners every day who provide travelers with incredible opportunities to make memories while driving economic impact.”

Visitors generated $1.4 billion in state and local taxes because of tourism spending. Without this tax revenue, each Wisconsin household would need to pay $580 to maintain the current level of government services generated by tourism. For more data, including individual county figures and year over year growth, visit here.

Wisconsin tourism continues to recover but has not fully recovered to Wisconsin tourism’s record-setting year of 2019, which saw $22.2 billion in total economic impact. Washburn County saw a record-setting year, however, in 2021, beating 2019’s impact of $47.1 million.

If you’d like to learn more about Washburn County Tourism Association and how the organization promotes Washburn County and the area businesses, events, and activities, check out their website here.


About Washburn County Tourism Association

Washburn County Tourism Association is a 501(c)6, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism in the Washburn County area. The organization is comprised of individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in working to promote and improve tourism in Washburn County. An outstanding board of directors oversees the operation of the organization and empowers the WashCo tourism team to inspire travelers to visit Washburn County through their marketing, outreach and public relations efforts.

About the Wisconsin Department of Tourism

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to inspire travelers to visit Wisconsin. Because we believe in the power of exploration and travel, we work to market the state as a premier travel destination. By executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships, the Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact for Wisconsin through tourism. Learn more at industry.travelwisconsin.com.


Share This Article