Wisconsin tourism industry's unified voice in government relations
Wisconsin tourism industry's unified voice in government relationsWisconsin tourism industry's unified voice in government relations
TFW Opposes LRB 1826/1 relating to the start of the K-12 public school year.
February 2021 - Senator Alberta Darling and Representative Dan Knodl are currently circulating LRB 1826/1 relating to the start of the K-12 public school year. The Tourism Federation of Wisconsin (TFW) opposes this legislation. The bill would remove the current requirement that schools wait until September 1 to commence their school year. If passed, the policy will have a negative impact on Wisconsin’s tourism economy, already reeling from the devastating effects of the pandemic. While the Wisconsin Department of Tourism doesn’t receive its 2020 tourism economic impact report until May, the U.S Travel Association has reported that travel spending was down 42 percent nationwide last year compared to 2019 and Wisconsin will certainly be down significantly. Removing the September 1 school start date would clearly lead to less revenue for Wisconsin businesses and less tax revenue for Wisconsin state government during the peak summer vacation months, which will already be in decline due to event cancellations and other negative effects of the pandemic. Minnesota and Michigan, two major competitors to Wisconsin tourism, have state laws requiring schools to start after Labor Day. Further, repealing Wisconsin’s law could put the state’s tourism industry at a competitive disadvantage as there would be fewer employees available to serve our visitors. A 2016 survey conducted by St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute found that 68 percent of Wisconsin parents support the September 1 school start date law, many commenting a preference for a post-Labor Day start; and that summers in Wisconsin are already short enough. August also has warmer temperatures than June, which is perfect for family vacations, but can create uncomfortable learning environments in schools not equipped with air conditioning. School boards and districts have great flexibility in setting their school calendar, including selecting holiday breaks, setting staff development days, and determining school hours. Recent advancements in technology and virtual schooling make this flexibility even greater. Advancement Placement (AP) course work can begin voluntarily over the summer by students interested in these courses. Since the September 1 school start date took effect, AP course participation and scores have increased significantly and are well above the national average. Wisconsin’s economy will lose millions of dollars, hundreds of jobs, and families will lose well-deserved vacations when weather is at its best, and when they are growing more comfortable traveling again.
TFW Applauds Governor Evers CARES ACT Funding Programs for Tourism
May 2020 - A Wisconsin Department of Tourism study show that tourism generated $22.2 billion in economic impact in Wisconsin in 2019, more than 202,000 jobs and $1.6 billion dollars in annual state and local tax revenue. In 2019, an estimated 113 million visitors to Wisconsin spent $13.7 billion. Our year-round industry continues to grow, and is helping to improve Wisconsin’s economy. As our state looks to increase revenues and create jobs and, the tourism and hospitality industry is making a significant contribution.
Video Highlights Wisconsin Tourism Industry's Economic Contributions