A Northwoods chamber of commerce leader showed the impact tourism has to Oneida county's economy during a presentation this week to the county board.
Kim Baltus from Minocqua also is president of the Oneida County Tourism Council, which is a joint effort among several communities to cross-promote the county to potential visitors. In 2012, visitors spent almost $186 million dollars here...
"that's roughly a little over $5,000 for every man, woman and child in the county. That's a significant increase in spending over 2011..."
That spending supports about 2000 full-time equivalent jobs in Oneida county. One out of every 13 jobs in Wisconsin is related to tourism.
But she warned the supervisors not to follow what Colorado did when they eliminated the budget for tourism marketing...
"...this resulted in a 30 percent loss in domestic market share within two years or a loss of $1.4 billion annually..."
Baltus says if no traveler spending happened here, each taxpayer would have paid about $600 more dollars in taxes to support current spending. State numbers show $6 dollars return to the state for every dollar spent on marketing. The Tourism Council's new website has had about 35,000 visits, and a well-used Facebook page, along with an "app" for Android and i-Phones. Baltus says the social media is showing a huge growth at their websites.