A Tourism Week Message

5/7/2018 - Deanna Goodwin

National Travel and Tourism Week in Kenosha WI 2018
National Travel and Tourism Week in Kenosha WI 2018
National Travel and Tourism Week in Kenosha WI 2018
National Travel and Tourism Week in Kenosha WI 2018
National Travel and Tourism Week in Kenosha WI 2018
National Travel and Tourism Week in Kenosha WI 2018

Dear Neighbor,

This week, the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (aka Visit Kenosha) is celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week. Now in its 35th year, it’s an annual salute to travel in America which highlights the importance of tourism on local communities. Although every week is “tourism week” to those of us who work here at the Visitors Bureau, this national celebration is the perfect time to remind you – our local neighbors – of the significant impact tourism has right here in our back yard. It’s also a time we like to remind you to “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town”; to appreciate the many great things to see and do in our own backyard. 

While the topic of tourism typically brings to mind popular destinations like Wisconsin Dells, Las Vegas, Disney World and the like, tourism is hard at work right here in Kenosha County too. Tourism has been steadily growing here for nearly two decades, and it shows no signs of stopping. I began working at the Kenosha Area CVB before there were Electric Streetcars, Jelly Belly Visitor Center or Kenosha HarborMarket. I witnessed five museums built or restored, three Kenosha Sculpture Walk installations at HarborPark (so far) and a downtown revitalized with new restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. Countless festivals and events have been born, as well as our hometown Kenosha Kingfish baseball team, all of which are now treasured traditions for local families and visitors. The examples of “then and now” (this year’s National Tourism Week theme) are many here in the Kenosha Area, and are a reminder of how our community continues to grow and prosper. The places that tourists enjoy and appreciate when they visit are the same places that make Kenosha County such a special place for us to live.

So how does being a great tourist destination affect us as residents?  To demonstrate how tourism benefits our local economy, the Kenosha Area CVB released its annual Economic Impact of Tourismstudy this week, a report by the research firm Tourism Economics. According to this year’s report: 

  • Tourists spent a record $213.6 million in Kenosha County in 2017. Tourism spending has grown an average of 5.7% annually since 2012.
  • Tourism sustained a total of 3,286 jobs last year, with resident income totaling $85.2 million. Tourism employment has outpaced the state growth in each of the past three years.
  • Spending by tourists resulted in $23.7 million in state and local tax revenues, plus $15.9 millionin federal taxes.
  • Without the state and local tax revenues from tourism, each Kenosha County household would need to pay an additional $370 to maintain the current level of government services. 
  • Visitors spent the most money on retail purchases ($66 million or 31% of total spending), followed by food & beverage ($61 million or 29%).
  • Visitor spending peaked in the 3rd quarter, with $70 million spent in Kenosha County. Second quarter spending saw a 7.8% increase over prior year, with $59 million spent by visitors.

So … back to the “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” reminder. I’d like to invite you to make a pledge this week – and all year-round actually – to be that Tourist. To take time to appreciate the many great things to see and do here. Get out and explore some new places or places you haven’t been in a while. Go beyond your comfort zone and try something new.  To give you a running start, the Kenosha Area CVB has teamed up with a number of local attractions to offer free admission or other freebies this week with our Kenosha Tourism Week FREE DAYS promotion. And find free (and nearly free) fun all year-round with our ultimate Kenosha bucket list – FUN 101: 101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under. Before you set out, don’t forget these tools and resources to help you find YOUR #KenoshaFun!

  • Get your Official Kenosha Area Visitors Guide – the one and only guide to Kenosha fun! Request a free copy or view online.
  • – find details on attractions, recreation, shopping, dining, events and more, as well as great blogs, articles and itineraries to keep the ideas flowing!
  • Stop by one of our two Visitor Information Centers for one-on-one service by travel professionals with a passion for Kenosha.
  • Sign up for our free e-Newsletters to be in the know about all things Kenosha.
  • Follow us on FacebookInstagram and other social media sites for the latest Kenosha buzz!

Deanna Goodwin

Director of Marketing

Livewire, tell-it-like-it-is realist. Mom to 11-year-old boy. Shopaholic, serial party planner, and wannabe professional organizer.