The tourism bump that Kewaunee County received when it hosted Farm Technology Days in 2017 may have been just the beginning.

The county reported Friday (May 3) that Wisconsin Department of Tourism numbers for 2018 grew even more last year.

For the second consecutive year, Kewaunee County showed the second-highest growth in direct visitor spending among Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Here’s the county news release:

The cash registers are ringing in Kewaunee County as tourism officials once again welcome the news that the County has taken the second spot for the highest growth of direct visitor spending in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism reports that direct visitor spending in Kewaunee County rose to $23.5 million in 2018, which is up from $20.0 million in 2017. The increase for 2018 is 17.65% higher than what it was in 2017, when it rose 13.41% from 2016. Kewaunee County is one of three counties to see an uptick of more than 15% in 2018.

“We’re now outpacing counties that we haven’t in the past. We know that a big economic driver for tourism in Kewaunee County is charter fishing, but in addition we’re tracking more out-of-state visitors who are contributing to record breaking attendance year after year at Winter Park. We’ve also seen an increase in day trippers by opening our doors to outdoor recreational activities like fat tire biking at our County parks,” says Jennifer Gonzalez, Kewaunee County Tourism Coordinator. “Tourism takes teamwork, especially for a county as small as ours, and the Algoma, Kewaunee, and Luxemburg area chambers of commerce have really begun to collaborate on county-wide efforts to drive in visitors.”

The new numbers also show that Kewaunee County is first for increasing its percentage of tourism jobs as well as total labor income and second for the most change in total business sales as well as state and local taxes. Kewaunee County has seen a $5.9 million boost in direct visitor spending since 2016, when it brought in reported revenue of $17.6 million.

The state of Wisconsin will report its tourism impact numbers on Monday, May 6, 2019.

Photo: Crescent Beach in Algoma, May 18, 2018 (Kewaunee County Comet file)