Tourism spending up, report indicates

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Tourism spending in Oconto County rose by nearly 4 percent in 2017, according to statistics released Friday by the state Department of Tourism.

Visitors spent $87.1 million in the county in 2017, up from $83.9 million in 2016. The report also shows $122.2 million in total business sales related to tourism, a 3.58 percent increase from $117.9 million the year before.

Tourism-related businesses employed 903 people in 2017, up from 886 in 2016 — an increase just below 2 percent.

Statewide, tourism spending reached $20.6 billion in 2017, a $631 million boost from $20 billion in 2016. The report was released to kick off National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs May 6-12.

“Wisconsin’s travel and hospitality industry is booming,” said Gov. Scott Walker in a news release accompanying the report. “Our tourism industry continues to be crucial to our state and is consistently a top-performing sector of our economy.”