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Door County Tourism Up

Katie Kozak

Door County Tourism Up

CREATED May. 3, 2013

DOOR COUNTY --  Tourism in Wisconsin is a multi-billion dollar industry and the revenue numbers are rising.

Governor Walker visited Door County today to kick off Tourism and Travel Week. The Governor wants to increase spending for the Department of Tourism to promote Wisconsin as a vacation destination.

State tourism dollars were up 5% from 2011 to 2012. Towns like Sturgeon Bay here in Door County say they can do a lot better if more money is spent on advertising.

Governor Scott Walker says tourism dollars are vital. He says they accounted for a, "16.8 billion dollar impact this year" and one out of every 13 jobs created in the state.

In Door County, room tax revenues have risen about 15% during the last four years. Jack Moneypenny, the CEO of the Door County Visitor's Bureau says, "Room tax income is our marketing dollars. At the end of the day, our job is to grow tourism and as we grow tourism everybody wins."

Those taxes will help pay for the tourism commercials you see on TV. Ads promoting Door County are playing in cities like Chicago and Minneapolis and Maritime Museum Director Bob Desh says the museum cannot afford to advertise. "Those dollars are absolutely essential to us, we count on them to reach out and get the folks to come to Wisconsin and we look at it as our job to get them in the door of the museum," he said.

And that's a goal shared by for-profit and non-profit businesses across the state. Experts do say the tourism season kicks into high gear around Memorial Day.