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Tourism Season Shows Growth For 2017: Official


he impact of tourism in Oneida county is great, and 2017 looks to be a good year.

Those points were delivered at the county board meeting Tuesday when state Tourism regional specialist Jeff Anderson and Krystal Westfahl of the Minocqua Chamber talked about more people are coming here. Tourism has a $20 billion dollar impact statewide.

In Oneida county, business sales through tourism were just under $300 miliion, a three percent increase from the year before, Anderson said...

"....about 1 in every 12 jobs in the state is due to tourism. In Oneida county, it's about 2,200 people who depend on the tourism industry for their livelihood. We're also generating tax revenues. In 2016, about $1.5 billion was collected in state and local taxes. Oneida county saw just about $22 million dollars...."

Westfahl is president of the Oneida County Tourism Council, a collaboration of local chambers that gets $100,000 in funding from Oneida county to market the county. Westfahl says they've been doing intensive survey work to see what tourists want when they come north. She says the growing impact of social media is becoming evident. She showed where Facebook at little cost creates many impacts..

"....it is the biggest bang for our buck we can get. It doesn't cost nearly as much as if we were going to put something on television, and we get the impressions that reach over the millions. So we're really looking to strengthen the social media presence. That is where we get the most bang for the buck...."

They've increased nearly 3,000 Facebook fans in the past year. They're also developing a "map app" that inventories trails and points of interest in one phone-friendly format. Westfahl says they're also working on a new brand concept.

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