The Wisconsin Department of Tourism now has an Office of Outdoor Recreation. Funding for this new office was included in the state budget signed by Gov. Tony Evers. The office will capitalize on the No. 1 marketable driver for visits to the state, namely outdoor pursuits, with the creation of three new staff positions.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), outdoor recreation in Wisconsin generates $17.9 billion in consumer spending annually and directly creates 168,000 jobs. Further, OIA research indicates that 60 percent of all outdoor gear and apparel is purchased while on vacation.

“We not only want Wisconsin to remain a top-notch four-season tourist destination, but we also want to create a climate that will spur business growth and attract new businesses to Wisconsin,” said Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney. “Our goal is to leverage the Office of Outdoor Recreation into more travelers, greater economic impact for local communities and new career opportunities for Wisconsinites.”

ber of states to create an Office of Outdoor Recreation, and is one of the first in the Midwest.