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US Travel Association says Wisconsin tourism industry showing new signs of life

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — One of the industries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic is showing signs of a rebound in Wisconsin.

According to the United States Travel Association’s data from September, Wisconsin experienced its first growth in monthly year-over-year tourism spending compared to 2019, which was the state’s best year on record.

While September is just a snapshot of 2021 overall, Gov. Tony Evers celebrated the growth.

“The tourism industry is an essential part of our state and our economy. We’ve put more than $200 million in federal recovery funds toward helping our tourism and hospitality industries get through this pandemic and bounce back, and I’m proud of our work to help support our economic recovery,” Evers said in a statement Thursday.

In 2020, the state’s tourism’s $17 billion industry declined by 22 percent compared to 2019. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism anticipates 2021 to still be down overall compared to 2019.

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