Tourism department optimistic about summer travel in Wisconsin

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer vacations for people across the country.
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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STOUGHTON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin’s natural resources and hospitality could continue to bring in more tourists this summer.

”Friendly people and good fishing. What more can you ask for right?” Irma Arellano said.

She and her fiancé Bruce Kayser traveled to Lake Kegonsa State Park in Stoughton for a relaxing day of fishing.

They both agreed to spend the summer traveling stateside Wisconsin rather than driving far away.

”Wisconsin has the friendliest people,” Kayser said. “I used to be outside in the St. Louis area and there’s no comparison.”

Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary-Designee Anne Sayers said people are spending extra energy picking affordable vacation spots, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

”It was a tough tough couple of years but the good news is since the onset of the pandemic, Wisconsin’s tourism and recovery has actually outpaced the national average every single month for two years,” Sayers said. “That’s 24 months in a row where we’ve seen better growth than the rest of the country in this sector. So that’s really good to see.”

”We knew people would come back with an intention to spend those vacation days,” Sayers said. “It’s just a matter of where. So our job here at Travel Wisconsin is to make sure they choose Wisconsin.”

Sayers is optimistic about the tourism industry as Summer of 2022 arrives.

She said Travel Wisconsin invested time and money to promote the state’s lakes, water activity and hiking to convince people from Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois to travel here.

”The idea is to encourage our neighbors to come on up and come over,” Sayers said. “And to our residents, to keep exploring Wisconsin. There’s always more to do.”

John Wynter and his partner Shirley Ye visited Lake Kegonsa for Memorial Day Weekend.

”It’s quieter and cheaper,” Wynter said. “It’s a getaway from Illinois. It’s nicer I think.”

Water recreation and hiking trails drew him to Wisconsin.

”I think you have more areas like this than you do in Illinois for sure,” he said.

Arellano and Kayser said there are almost too many options for summer activities in Wisconsin.

”There are so many lakes to choose from,” they said. “It’s hard to pick!”

After their June 8th wedding, Arellano and Kayser plan to visit all of the badger state’s 15,000 lakes.

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