Eau Claire, WI – The Department of Tourism released a report today showing $11.42 billion in direct visitor spending showing a local increase of 9.74% from the previous year.

The $215 million from traveler spending in Eau Claire County in 2014 was up from $196 million in 2013. As one of the largest economic drivers in the state, traveler spending supports the local economy with over $27 million in local and state government generated revenue. Top tourism categories for spending include lodging, food, shopping, and recreational activities.

“Eau Claire County saw an increase in visitor spending of almost 10% in 2014,” said Linda John, Executive Director of Visit Eau Claire, “marking one of the largest increases in the state and further establishing the Eau Claire Area as a prime tourism destination in Wisconsin.”

The state of Wisconsin as a whole has experienced a 5.3% increase in direct visitor spending, which in turn positively impacts jobs and tax revenue in our local communities. In the Chippewa Valley alone, tourism spending supported 6,236 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $137.6 million in wages and salaries.

National Travel & Tourism Week is celebrated May 2-10, 2015.

Visit Eau Claire effectively markets the Eau Claire area as a destination for conventions, group tour, sporting events, and leisure markets; to promote regional economic growth; to enhance the area’s overall identity and image; to sell fun, promote fun, and most importantly – Have FUN!