Spending surpasses previous record year for county in 2022

VILAS COUNTY, Wis. (June 11, 2024)—Tourism in Vilas County had another record year! Visitors spent $300.8 million in Vilas County in 2023, according to figures released by the state Department of Tourism. That figure marks an $11 million growth in the county in just one year and outpaces the previous record spending of $289.8 million in 2022.

Tourism is Vilas County’s largest industry, supporting 2,138 jobs in 2023, and county businesses benefitted from total business sales just shy of $380 million, up 4.2% from 2022. Visitor spending in the county accounted for $26.1 million in state and local taxes last year alone.

Statewide, the total economic impact of tourism was $25 billion in 2023, a 5.4% increase over 2022, besting the previous record of $23.7 billion spent just last year. Tourism accounted for 178,000+ jobs and $1.6 billion in state and local taxes collected.

“We love to see so many generations of families returning to Vilas County,” said Collette Sorgel, Director of Vilas County Tourism & Publicity. “But we’re also seeing lots of new faces and working hard to impress them, so they become repeat visitors too. We know that every dollar spent directly improves the lives of everyone who lives and works in Vilas County and we’re so appreciative of everyone who
chose to visit us last year.”

Vilas County Tourism & Publicity works year-round to promote the area to visitors through regular updates to the popular Map It Vilas County trails app, monthly e-newsletters and social media content. In 2023, they went through a rebranding process and launched a new website, more advertising, and giveaways that helped generate buzz and interest in the area.

“The new site has been a big hit with visitors, and a great tool for showing off our local businesses and assets,” Sorgel said. “We outperformed our best year by 11 million dollars—it’s a wonderful success story for the good people who live and work in Vilas County.”

To learn more about Vilas County, visit www.vilas.org. Visitors also can find Vilas County on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.