Travel Then and Now in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

25 Apr, 2018

Even if we weren’t there at the time, many are likely familiar with the celebrity history of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin as mansions for Chicago’s elite were raised around Geneva Lake. It’s amazing how much has changed over the years and how much has stayed the same. The town originally became a getaway destination for the wealthy Chicago families and still remains a popular vacation spot for the Midwest.

One thing has stayed remarkably the same, though: our industry’s unique emphasis on welcoming visitors from near and far, which has helped position travel and tourism as an economic power in the lives of Lake Geneva residents.

Nationwide, the travel industry is a top-10 employer in 49 states and the District of Columbia. International travel is our country’s No. 2 import. One in nine Americans depend on travel to and within the U.S. for their employment—and it’s not just those directly working in the travel industry, either: overall, travel supports 15.6 million jobs and is a $2.4 trillion U.S. industry.

In 2017, travel generated $75.6 billion in state and local tax revenue, more than enough to pay all state and local police and fire fighters, or 1.25 million public school teachers (preschool and k—12) across the U.S.

Travel is powerful for cities and states, and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is no exception. The financial impact of tourism in Walworth county brings more than $700 million in tourism-related revenue annually (2016), ranking our county 5th out of 72 counties in the state. With only 102,000 residents in Walworth County we have the smallest population of the top five. We are small but mighty.

That’s why it’s so important to keep welcoming visitors to Lake Geneva—and why our industry is highlighting “Travel Then and Now” during National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) 2018, May 6-12. We encourage you to join us in observing NTTW this year, and celebrate all travel does for Wisconsin, and for our country as a whole.

This year’s NTTW is more than just another campaign. It’s a movement that positions the travel industry as a primary driver in the U.S. economy, and an important part of our daily lives in Lake Geneva.

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