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Study predicts lost tourism revenue in Wisconsin if virus lasts a long time



The coronavirus has already shut down bars, restaurants and tourist destinations all over Wisconsin in the past month. On top of that, nobody knows how much longer people will be asked to stay at home and avoid travel. 

The Wisconsin Policy Forum says the Badger State tourism industry could be in a lot of trouble this year because of COVID-19. 

The group released a study (read here) pointing to six counties, including Adams, which are considered dependent on tourism for at least 25 percent of their jobs. 

In La Crosse County, 19 percent of the jobs — or 4,500 workers — are connected to the tourism industry. 

La Crosse County saw $279 million in revenue from direct tourist spending in 2018.  

Other area counties have at least 12 percent of jobs dependent on travelers. 

On the other hand, Trempealeau County has the second lowest percentage of tourism employment, at less than 9 percent.   

The Dells area would be among the most vulnerable spots, with Adams County counting 46 percent of its jobs connected to tourism. 

Door County and Lake Geneva also are considered high risk to lose money or jobs from virus-related shutdowns. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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