Eau Claire, Wis. – The Department of Tourism released a report today showing $19.3 billion in total visitor spending and $11.9 billion in direct spending showing a state wide increase of 4% from the previous year.

The $216 million from direct traveler spending in Eau Claire County in 2015 was up from $215 million in 2014.  As one of the largest economic drivers in the state, traveler spending supports the local economy with over $28 million in local and state government generated revenue.  Top tourism categories for spending include lodging, food, shopping, and recreational activities.

“Tourism plays a critical role in our community and continues to grow, and from an economic standpoint, the numbers reflect that,” said Linda John “Last year’s numbers are very encouraging and we hope to capitalize on this momentum in the coming summer season with a strong promotional campaign that defines our brand and targets potential visitors with a message that resonates.”

The state of Wisconsin as a whole has experienced over 4% increase in total visitor spending, which in turn positively impacts jobs and tax revenue in our local communities. In the Chippewa Valley alone, tourism spending supported 6,347 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $145 million in wages and salaries.

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! See attachment here.