Posted Friday, May 3, 2013 --- 12:03 p.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Department of Tourism says travelers contributed $16.8 billion to the state economy last year, up 5 percent from the year before.
That's the overall impact as tourists' dollars trickle through the economy. The agency said Friday that direct spending on food, lodging, transportation and other services added up to $10.4 billion.
Lodging is the biggest money-maker, accounting for 26 percent of tourists' spending. Food and beverages come in second.
Officials say tourism supported about 184,000 Wisconsin jobs last year, or 7.8 percent of employment.
Gov. Scott Walker has proposed increasing funding to promote tourism by 1.4 percent, or about $500,000, over the next two years.
The state says most tourists in Wisconsin are from the U.S. Only 6 percent come from other nations.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.