By Ben Rodgers
ASHWAUBENON – Gov. Scott Walker stopped by the Titletown District on Friday, May 4, to tout tourism in Wisconsin.
With National Travel and Tourism Week kicking off on May 6, Walker reported tourism for the state had an economic impact of $20.6 billion for 2017. This is up $631 million from 2016.
Brown County plays a significant role in the economic impact, he said.
“This county alone is No. 5 for tourism in the state as a whole, and the whole is pretty awesome,” Walker said.
The governor had praise for Green Bay as a whole and the partnership with the Packers.
“We know one of the great things about the Green Bay area, really here in Brown County and Northeastern Wisconsin, is the collaboration between local leaders working together with the Packers and the private sector coming together. It’s why it’s such a great destination,” Walker said.
Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said because Green Bay is a tourist destination, people will be more likely to put down roots and make the area their home.
“We know the more people come back, the more apt they are the move there, get a job there, to go to school there, to retire there, or to buy a second home,” Klett said. “That’s the halo effect that exists with tourism, and I tell you, nobody does it like Green Bay.”
Walker presented numbers that showed across Wisconsin there were 195,255 jobs supported by tourism in 2017. He said with attractions plenty in the Green Bay area thousands have work here due to tourism.
“Our numbers are fantastic in Brown County,” said Brad Till, president and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We know certainly as an organization, we might be the face of some of the tourism in the area. But there are a lot of people, in fact, almost 12,000 people working in the tourism industry in Brown County, and they’re the people responsible for the numbers.”
Walker’s stop in Ashwaubenon was one of three on the day to promote tourism ahead of National Travel and Tourism Week.