Greater St. Croix Valley Has Strong Traveler Spending Increase in 2022
State’s 2022 Tourism Spending Rises +15.7% to $14.88 Billion
Traveler spending in St. Croix County increased from $113.3 million in 2021 to an estimated $127.8 million in 2022 (a +12.8% increase) according to a June 6th economic analysis released by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The total economic impact from travelers in St. Croix was also up, rising from $188 million in 2021 to $208 million in 2022 (up +11.0%). Spending from travelers and tourists supported an estimated 1,862 jobs in the county (up +1.5% from 2021) and generated $13.5 million in state and local taxes (up +5.59% from 2021).
Statewide, travelers spent an estimated $14.88 billion in 2022, an increase of +15.7% from 2021. The total economic impact from tourists in Wisconsin during 2022 was estimated at $23.655 billion (an increase of +13% from 2021). 2022’s spending and total economic impact surpasses previous records set in 2019, considered the last pre-pandemic year ($13.67 billion of spending and $22.2 billion in economic impact). Tourism and traveler-supported employment in Wisconsin in 2022 increased +2.9% to 174,623 jobs. Tourism also provided the state and local units of government with tax revenues of $1.52 billion in 2022, up +9.2% from $1.39 billion in 2021.
St. Croix, Polk, Pierce counties comprise the Greater St. Croix Valley in Wisconsin. Visitor spending in 2022 for the region was estimated at $269.9 million compared to $241.0 million in 2021 (a +12.0% increase). 2022 spending in the Greater St. Croix Valley includes St. Croix’s estimated $127.8 million, $108.4 million in Polk, and $33.7 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 three counties and return to their homes without incurring lodging expenses. Local overnight stays would greatly increase traveler spending in the Greater St. Croix Valley. Just like Wisconsin, St. Croix County set a new traveler spending record previously achieved in 2019 (spending of $127.8 million in 2022 v. $119.6 million in 2019). The three-county St. Croix Valley also set a new spending record in 2022 compared to 2019 ($269.9 million in 2022 v. $245.8 million in 2019).
The total economic impact from travelers and visitors to the Greater St. Croix Valley in 2022 was estimated at $423 million, compared to $383 million in 2021 (a +10.44% increase). Total economic impact per county includes $208 million in St. Croix, $156 million in Polk, and $59 million in Pierce.
Tourism-related employment in the Greater St. Croix Valley for 2022 was estimated at 3,364 jobs (up +0.18% from 2021) and includes and includes 1,862 in St. Croix, 1,079 in Polk, and 423 in Pierce.
2022 state and local tax revenue attributable to visitors and travelers in the Greater St. Croix Valley was estimated at $26.1 million (up +4.4% from 2021) and includes $13.5 million from St. Croix, $9.2 million from Polk, and $3.4 million from Pierce.
Milwaukee is the state’s top county for visitor spending, estimated at $2.19 billion in 2022. Other counties in the Top 10 includes Sauk ($1.60 billion); Dane ($1.35 billion); Waukesha ($852.2 million); Walworth ($765.0 million); Brown ($764.5 million); Door ($466.5 million); Outagamie ($389.4 million); La Crosse ($304.6 million); and Vilas ($288.4 million).
Tourism is one of Wisconsin’s top three industries along with manufacturing and agriculture.
Read the summary from the Department of Tourism at https://www.industry.travelwisconsin.com/research/economic-impact/