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Tourism Numbers Up Across the State, Especially in Milwaukee

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Jim Bauer, Flickr
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New tourism numbers are out for Wisconsin; and for the first time in recorded history, the numbers were up in all 72 counties across the state in 2014.

A total of $11.4 billion in visitor spending was recorded across the state, and tourism was responsible for generating 1.4 billion in state and local taxes.

The numbers are especially strong in Milwaukee, according to Paul Upchurch, who is president and CEO of Visit Milwaukee. He says last year tourism brought nearly $3.2 billion to Milwaukee County and supported almost 31,000 full-time jobs.

Upchurch attributes this increase partially to people being confident in the economy and spending more often on both business and pleasure.

"We're really an undiscovered gem," says Upchurch in response to why people travel to Milwaukee. "Travel writers come in and they visit Milwaukee for the first time and they're just wowed at all there is to do, in a variety of areas from restaurants to events to attractions."

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.