Travelers spent an estimated $155.8 million in Kenosha County in 2011

In 2011, travelers spent an estimated $155.8 million in Kenosha County, an increase of $11.8 million, or 8.2%, over 2010, the Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau recently announced.

Each year, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism commissions a traveler expenditure study to estimate the economic impact on Wisconsin counties by tourism. The figures come from this study, “Tourism Economics: The Economic Impact of Tourism in Wisconsin.”

The tourism industry in Kenosha County sustained 2,860 jobs in 2011, which provided $65.5 million in personal income. Largely comprised of small businesses, travel and hospitality jobs can’t be outsourced or exported. The tourism industry provides work across the spectrum of employment from entry level and part-time jobs to management and entrepreneurial positions. Visitors to Kenosha County generated $18.4 million in state and local taxes and $12.1 million in federal tax revenues during 2011. Kenosha County ranks 19th in Wisconsin for traveler spending among 72 counties.

The KACVB has existed for the past 26 years 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. The KACVB continues to market the Kenosha Area to new audiences. A revamped website, a comprehensive advertising plan, and an intense social media effort in 2011 all contributed to increased exposure for the Kenosha Area. KACVB staff at the I-94 Visitor Information Center personally interacted with over 27,000 customers in 2011.

“The number of overnight stays here in Kenosha continues to rise,” states Dennis A. DuChene II, president of the KACVB. “Venues like the RecPlex Aqua Arena and Prairie Springs Park and events such as Taste of Wisconsin™ and Danskin Women’s Triathlon Series bring many out-of-town visitors to our community for the first time. The Wisconsin Marathon draws over 3,500 runners and their family members here each May. This August, the WWA Wakeboard World Championships will be held at Prairie Springs Park. We continue to support and assist our local municipalities, hotels, restaurants, attractions, museums, recreation businesses, and retail establishments by marketing the Kenosha Area as a fun, affordable and desirable travel destination.”

The KACVB has also released its Annual Visitor Survey results, which provides a profile of who Kenosha Area visitors are and what they like to do while in the community. Surveys were sent to a sampling of consumers who had requested a Kenosha Area Visitors Guide during 2011. Five hundred and twenty-two (522) surveys were returned. Here are some of the highlights from the survey results:

  • When asked what they saw and/or did during their 2011 visit, 74.4% of the survey respondents answered visited restaurants and cafes, making it number one on the list. This was followed by shopping at Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets (54.6%), visited lakefront beaches and parks (45.1%), and visited the Jelly Belly Visitor Center (44.8%). These attractions were followed by visiting the Kenosha HarborMarket, specialty shops, Civil War Museum, historic districts, Kenosha Public Museum, and the Electric Streetcar.
  • A little over thirty-nine percent (39.3%) spent the night in Kenosha Area, with the largest percentage spending two nights (37.6%), followed by one night (28.0%). Over seventy-four percent (74.6%) stayed at a hotel/motel, followed by 14.1% with family or friends.
  • Almost sixty-seven percent (66.9%) of respondents plan to visit the Kenosha Area again in 2012 and an overwhelming 97.9% would recommend the Kenosha Area to others.

For more information about the KACVB, log on to www.KenoshaCVB.com or call (262) 654-7307. Follow the KACVB on Twitter and “Like” them on Facebook to receive updates about events, specials, and more. The KACVB serves travelers at two Visitor Information Center locations: at 812 – 56th Street in Downtown Kenosha, and at I-94 and Highway 165.

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