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Wisconsin tourism jumps 4.5% in 2013

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - We've been willing to spend more money on tourist-related things in Wisconsin every year since the Great Recession ended -- and this past year was no exception.  

The governor's office said Friday that Wisconsin travelers spent $10.8 billion in 2013 on things like hotels, restaurants, and other leisure activities. That's 4.5 percent more than the year before -- and 18 percent more since 2010.  

State Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said the past three years have been "outstanding" for tourist-related businesses.  

The Philadelphia-based firm of Tourism Economics conducts the annual Wisconsin tourist surveys. It estimates that leisure travel accounted for 88 percent of all visitor spending in the state last year -- and overnight visitors for both business and pleasure represented two-thirds of the total.  

The study found that Wisconsin travel spending supported 131,000 jobs in 2013.  

Milwaukee is always the state's most popular tourist destination -- and the same was true last year. The Madison area was second followed by Sauk County, which has part of the Wisconsin Dells.

Milwaukee's neighboring county Waukesha was fourth, followed by Brown County -- the home of the Green Bay Packers.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)