GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – Following a record-setting 2019, spending in the Fox Cities fell to $333 million which is a 35% drop from 2019.

According to the Fox Cities, the 2020 spending directly supported 4,185 jobs in the Fox Cities tourism industry with employee income of $96.5 million. The $511 million spent during the record-setting 2019 year was $178 million more compared to 2020.

“Pandemic-induced losses erased about 10 years of growth in visitor spending,” says Pam Seidl, Executive Director of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The visitor spending is tracked across five categories including:

  • Lodging
  • Food and beverage
  • Retail
  • Recreation
  • Local transportation

Lodging is the category that suffered the most significant losses, according to the Fox Cities. Spending was down 57% from 2019 in the lodging category.

Wisconsin itself did slightly better with only a 28% year over year decrease. Wisconsin reportedly welcomed 90.7 million visitors in 2020.

“In 2021 we are shifting our focus to the road ahead,” says Maddie Uhlenbrauck, Marketing Communications Manager for the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau.