2019 Traveler Spending Up in the Greater St. Croix Valley
State’s Tourism Spending up 2.6% to $13.67 Billion
2019 traveler spending in St. Croix County increased to $119.6 million (up +1.6% from 2018) according to an annual analysis released May 4th by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The 2019 traveler spending in St. Croix resulted in total business sales of $197.6 million, reflecting a +2.4% increase from 2018. This spending supported an estimated 2,073 jobs in the county (up +1.8% from 2018) and generated $14.8 million in state and local tax revenues (up +1.05% from 2018).
Statewide, travelers spent an estimated $13.667 billion in 2019, a +2.62% increase from 2018. Total business sales from tourists in Wisconsin were estimated at $22.223 billion (a +3.02% increase from 2018). Tourism and traveler-supported employment in Wisconsin in 2019 topped the 200,000 milestone for the first time and was estimated at 202,217 jobs (a +1.58% increase from 2018). Tourism also provided the state with tax revenues of $1.61 billion in 2019 (a +1.79% increase from 2018).
The traveler spending news for 2019 comes ahead of the challenges faced by Wisconsin’s tourism sector in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
St. Croix, Polk, Pierce, and Dunn counties comprise the Greater St. Croix Valley. Visitor spending in 2019 for the 4-county region was estimated at $299.1 million compared to $292.0 million in 2018 (a +2.43% increase). 2019 spending in the Greater St. Croix Valley includes St. Croix’s estimated $119.6 million, $95.4 million in Polk, $53.3 million in Dunn, and $30.8 million in Pierce. Because of the Greater St. Croix Valley’s close proximity to the Twin Cities metro area, many visitors from Minnesota enjoy day trips to the Valley and return to their homes without incurring lodging expenses. Local overnight stays would greatly increase traveler spending in the Greater St. Croix Valley.
Total business sales from travelers and visitors to the Greater St. Croix Valley in 2019 were estimated at $491.6 million compared to $477.9 million in 2018 (a +2.87% increase). Business sales per county include $197.6 million in St. Croix, $143.5 million in Polk, $93.0 million in Dunn, and $57.5 million in Pierce.
Tourism-related employment in the Greater St. Croix Valley for 2019 was estimated at 4,601 jobs (up +2.15% from 2018) and include 2,073 in St. Croix, 1,172 in Polk, 892 in Dunn, and 464 in Pierce.
2019 state and local tax revenue attributable to visitors and travelers in the Greater St. Croix Valley was estimated at $34.5 million (up +1.77% from 2018) and includes $14.8 million from St. Croix, $9.7 million from Polk, $6.5 million from Dunn, and $3.5 million from Pierce.
Milwaukee is the state’s top county for visitor spending estimated at $2.192billion. The other counties in the Top 10 include Dane ($1.361 billion); Sauk ($1.145 billion); Waukesha ($847.9 million); Brown ($717.9 million); Walworth ($584.5 million); Outagamie ($375.2 million); Door ($374.4 million); La Crosse ($281.4 million); and Rock (263.6 million).
Tourism is one of Wisconsin’s top three industries along with manufacturing and agriculture.
For additional information, or to read the 2019 Economic Impact of Tourism in Wisconsin go to http://industry.travelwisconsin.com/research/economic-impact and select the topic: “County Total Impact”.