Wisconsin and Minnesota have instituted their own stay at home orders. Governors Tim Walz of Minnesota and Tony Evers of Wisconsin have both encouraged residents to avoid non-essential out-of-state travel.
In response to concerns from citizens they have both expressed the opinion that people should stay at their primary residence and not go to secondary homes or cabins during this time of social distancing.
“Consistent with federal guidance and to protect our neighbors, Minnesotans are encouraged to stay close to home and are strongly discouraged from engaging in unnecessary travel,” the Minnesota order states.
“People are strongly encouraged to stay close to home, not travel to second homes or cabins, and not to travel out-of-state if it is not necessary,” Gov. Evers said in a statement.
This may be difficult to grasp for a region that relies on tourism throughout the year, but especially as the calendar turns from Spring to Summer.
Last year Julie Fox, Northwest Regional Tourism Specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, gave her annual report to the Burnett County Board of Supervisors
“Tourism plays a vital role in Burnett County,” Fox said. “Water and outdoor recreation, trails, parks, golf courses, historic sites and attractions, all work together to draw travelers to the area.”
According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, there was a total of over $38 million impact on the Burnett County economy in 2018.
“Tourism in Burnett County supports 373 jobs with a personal income of $7.3 million supported by visitors to the county,” Fox said.
Tourism is vital for the entire state. Travel Wisconsin states that in 2018 a total of $21.6 billion was earned in total business sales from tourism across the state. There was $13.3 billion in spending linked to tourism. The State had approximately 112 million visitors in 2018.
Fox told the Sentinel that tourism numbers for 2019 will be available in May.