Why we love tourism (And you should, too!)

By Susan Pohorski

When friends or family come to visit, where do you like to take them? A state park? An ethnic festival? A golf course or a bike trail? Maybe Wisconsin Dells, Door County or a Brewer game? There are so many things to see and do in our state. That’s why visits to Wisconsin topped 100 million last year. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, visitor growth jumped 3.5 percent in 2013. Some people come for one day, others visit several times a year for deer hunting, boating, fishing, skiing, concerts and conventions. This time of year, the fall colors bring thousands to experience our beautiful state. 

Wisconsin tourism supports nearly 185,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in personal income. Visitors generated $1.35 billion in state and local revenue in 2013. Did you know tourism saves Wisconsin taxpayers nearly $590 per household? 

In order for this important segment of our economy to grow, employers need workers to serve the increasing number of visitors. They need hotel and restaurant managers, meeting and event planners, chefs, food service production workers, golf course managers as well as accountants, maintenance technicians, supervisors and many other skilled employees. New hospitality and tourism related businesses are starting and need employees too. 

Have you considered a career in the hospitality and tourism industry? Many of these in-demand fields require an associate degree or technical diploma. You could be on your way to your dream job within two years without a lot of student loan debt. 

If you love our state and enjoy sharing it with visitors, why not consider how your skills and interests could find a match in the hospitality and tourism industry? Read these stories of graduates from Wisconsin’s technical colleges who found great careers in the industry. 

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