Kenosha, WI (May 3, 2019) – Tourism is a viable industry in Kenosha County. Tourism provides jobs, lowers personal taxes, improves our local economy, and provides a positive community image, which is critical for economic development. In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week (May 5-11), the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (KACVB) shares what tourism means to Kenosha County:
2018 TOURISM HIGHLIGHTS
Visitor spending in Kenosha County continued its upward trend in 2018, reaching a record $227.8 million – an increase of $14.3 million or 6.7% over the prior year. Kenosha County currently ranks 18th out of 72 Wisconsin counties for annual visitor spending.
Kenosha County tourism also collected $24.6 million in state and local tax revenues and generated 3,368 jobs with $86.8 million in related income.
Since 2011, tourism spending in Kenosha County has grown 46.2%, an average of 6.6% annually.
The Kenosha Area CVB secured three grants totaling $42,400 in the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Fiscal Year 2018 JEM (Joint Effort Marketing) and Travel Information Center programs. These grants helped fund two major festivals (Tribute Island and Food Folks & Spokes) and operations at the I-94 Visitor Information Center.
The Kenosha Area’s fourth feature episode of Discover Wisconsin TV premiered on broadcast channels across Wisconsin and the Midwest in June. The episode will air a total of three times as part of a two-year marketing program.
ADDITIONAL POINTS OF INTEREST
Several transformational developments continued or were begun in the Kenosha Area in 2018. The Stella Hotel & Ballroom neared completion and opened in April 2019, while construction began on the new Apis Hotel & Restaurant in Downtown Kenosha. New permanent exhibits were underway at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum (opened Spring 2018) and Kenosha Public Museum (opened February 2019). Boundless Adventures and Kenosha County began work on a new aerial adventure attraction in Bristol Woods Park (opening May 25, 2019). And the City of Kenosha announced the return of the Kenosha Tall Ships festival in August 2019.
On select days during National Travel & Tourism Week 2019, a favorite local attraction is offering FREE admission or other freebies! This is sponsored by the KACVB. It’s our way of helping local residents become a tourist in their own town – this week and all year long! Find all the details at VisitKenosha.com/TourismWeek.
May 5-11 is also National Small Business Week, a campaign by the U.S. Small Business Administration. What often makes a community unique and sets it apart from others are its locally owned shops and restaurants. Kenosha is fortunate to have many of these – not only locally owned businesses, but ones that have been passed down from generation to generation. The KACVB thanks and celebrates the entrepreneurs who have chosen a location in Kenosha County to make their dreams come true!
The KACVB staffs the Visitor Information Center at I-94 & Hwy. 165. Summer hours are now in effect; it’s staffed 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. Residents are encouraged to visit this center when planning their Wisconsin vacation, as numerous free resources and one-on-one travel advice and directions are available. The center carries 350 different publications for destinations, attractions, and events throughout the state. New publications arrive daily!
In mid-May the KACVB’s Downtown Kenosha Visitor Information Center will be moving from 812 56th Street to 600 52nd Street, Suite 140. It’s staffed 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Pick up a free Visitors Guide, FUN 101 brochure, and literature from Kenosha Area businesses.
ABOUT THE KACVB
The KACVB was established in 1986 as a non-profit corporation with the sole purpose of enhancing and growing tourism in the greater Kenosha area, and thereby contributing positively to the community’s economy and overall image.
For more information about the KACVB and the many free resources the organization offers visitors and residents, log on to VisitKenosha.com. Follow the KACVB’s blog, and also follow Visit Kenosha on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to receive updates about events, specials, and more.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
Each year, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism tracks travel trends and visitor patterns through a variety of research studies. The study that is most widely used by our tourism industry is the report, “Economic Impact of Tourism in Wisconsin” produced by Tourism Economics and Longwoods International. In simple terms, this study is an estimate. It’s not a report card or a financial statement reflecting cash register receipts.