La Crosse sees 5% increase in revenue from tourism

“If you like cheese, beer, wine, the bluffs, hunting, fishing, we got everything,” explained Island Outdoors owner Scott Gartner.

Wisconsin has seen a rise in tourism, with La Crosse County as a major destination. La Crosse County had made 279 million dollars in tourism last year, 16 million more than 2017, making it the second fastest growing county in tourism revenue last year.

“When you come here, it’s like everything’s alive. The trees are alive, the birds are singing,” added Gartner.

La Crosse County’s tourism success led to the Town of Campbell being a stop for Governor Tony Evers and the Secretary of Tourism Sara Meaney, on their weeklong tour of Wisconsin scenic attractions for International Tourism Week.

“I spent 8 to 9 years in Tomah and I know how beautiful this part of the state is,” elaborated Evers.

What is driving Wisconsin Tourism seems to be its great outdoors.

“The number one marketable reason that people come to Wisconsin is actually our outdoor recreation,” revealed Meaney.

“When I’d see a young person I’d say ‘why are you here?’ and the answer was always the outdoors,” recalled Governor Evers.

With more flocking to Wisconsin to experience the outdoors, Evers wants capitalize on the trend.

“We’re going to create an office of outdoor education in the department of tourism.”

In addition, Evers also has a 5 million dollar increase in his budget for advertising Wisconsin Tourism.

“In order to increase awareness of what we have, we need to get in front of more eyeballs. And eyeballs cost money in the world of advertising,” explained Meaney.

“As we bring tourists in, yes they’re bringing money, but a lot of them will stay, a lot of them will come back a couple times, and eventually live here,” concluded Governor Evers.

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