Governor Walker visits Harley-Davidson Museum for Travel and Tourism Week

MILWAUKEE -- Governor Scott Walker on Tuesday, May 8 highlighted Wisconsin’s booming tourism industry at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee as part of Travel & Tourism Week.

The Harley-Davidson Museum is one of Wisconsin’s top tourist destinations. This year marks the 115th anniversary of Harley-Davidson and the 10th anniversary of the Harley-Davidson Museum.

“Popular tourist attractions like the Harley-Davidson Museum continue to be a key part of our state economy,” said Governor Walker. “Whether you’re looking to hit the road with fellow Harley-Davidson riders, explore one of our beautiful state parks, or visit one of our many family-friendly attractions, Wisconsin offers something for every kind of traveler.”

Wisconsin tourism by the numbers:

  • Wisconsin’s tourism economy topped $20.6 billion in 2017, marking a $631 million boost from $20 billion in 2016.
  • The total seven-year growth of tourism activity in the state is $5.8 billion, a nearly 40 percent increase according to Tourism Economics, the research firm for the Department of Tourism.
  • Visitor volumes topped 110 million visits, an increase of 17.5 million, compared to 92.5 million seven years ago. This is a 19 percent increase since 2011.
  • Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue and $1.2 billion in federal taxes, saving Wisconsin taxpayers $660 per household.
  • Traveler spending on recreation, which includes all activities travelers choose to do on vacation, had the fastest growth at 5.5 percent in 2017.
  • Tourism, directly and indirectly, supported 195,255 jobs in Wisconsin’s labor market in 2017.
  • The growth of tourism over the last seven years has helped add 23,255 jobs, a 13.5 percent increase.

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun. To date, the Department of Tourism has earned 106 awards for marketing and public relations excellence since 2011.