Tourists Spend $209 Million in Kenosha County in 2016

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 7-13), the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau shares what tourism means to Kenosha County:


  • Visitor spending continued to surge in 2016, increasing 6.3% to reach $209 million.
  • This marks the third straight year that Kenosha County’s spending growth is in the top 10 of all counties in Wisconsin.
  • Visitor spending has grown an average of 5.3% annually since 2012.
  • Ranked by visitor spending, Kenosha County is the 18th largest county in Wisconsin in 2016, up from 19th in 2015.
  • Travelers spent $59 million on food & beverages and $34 million in the lodging sector last year. The retail sector in Kenosha County received $67 million from visitors.
  • Spending growth was strongest at lodging facilities as well as on recreational activities with both sectors seeing double digit growth.


  • Tourism in Kenosha County generated $23.2 million in state and local taxes and $15.3 million in federal taxes last year.
  • In the absence of the state and local taxes generated by tourism, each Kenosha County household would need to pay an additional $370 to maintain the current level of government services.


  • Traveler spending is a significant source of employment. The tourism industry in Kenosha County supported a total of 3,249 jobs, with personal income of $83.6 million.
  • Businesses supplying food & beverages or recreational services support a majority of tourism-generated employment in Kenosha County.
  • 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 careers in management and entrepreneurial positions.


  • Visitor spending in Wisconsin grew 3.3% in 2016, marking the seventh year of visitor spending growth. Visitor spending increased by $390 million in 2016 to reach $12.3 billion.
  • 1-in-12.3 jobs in the state is sustained by tourism activity – 8.1% of total employment in Wisconsin.

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