One Million Visitors, Millions of Benefits
by Amy Albright of Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau 920.303.9200
Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s Event City, had the pleasure of welcoming more than one million visitors last year.
From music festivals and fishing tournaments to athletic competitions and meetings, travelers continue to visit for so many reasons. These travelers bring tremendous value to the Oshkosh area, which is why we always welcome them with open arms.
The beauty of tourism is these visitors come to our destination, spend money and then go home. And, if Oshkosh provided an enjoyable stay, they return again. This simple process has an incredibly positive impact on the Oshkosh area. Tourism brings visitors and dollars into our communities, helps sustain and create jobs, encourages entrepreneurial business starts, generates non-resident taxes for government and supports local non-profit entities.
Visitor spending produces much-needed tax revenue that stimulates community growth. According to research conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, visitors to Winnebago County generated $30.9 million in state and local taxes in 2016. This revenue helps support education, health care, police and fire departments and other essential programs and services for local citizens.
Tourism helps sustain and create employment in the Oshkosh area. Visitor spending totaled more than $242 million in Winnebago County last year. This spending supported 4,879 jobs with a total personal income of more than $134 million. The current unemployment rate is extremely low; however, without tourism-supported jobs, the unemployment rate would more than double.
It feels great when people want to visit your community. It’s a reminder that you live in a special place and have assets that don’t exist elsewhere. Visitors are coming here to attend our events and spend money at our restaurants and retail businesses. This spending helps keep our establishments vibrant and gives them incentive to continue improving and adding to our community’s resources.
A sometimes overlooked benefit of tourism is the significant impact it has on local, non-profit organizations, programs and services. Numerous events held in the Oshkosh area donate a portion, or even all, of their proceeds to help and assist non-profit entities every year. Without funds received from these events and the visitors who attend them, many of these non-profits would not succeed.
The prosperity gained from tourism continually improves the overall quality of life enjoyed in Oshkosh. Travelers truly benefit Oshkosh in so many ways. That’s why our community welcomes them so enthusiastically each and every year and continues to work hard to ensure they return.
Amy Albright is the Executive Director of the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau. To learn more about tourism in Winnebago County, go to www.VisitOshkosh.com or call (920) 303-9200.