Milwaukee’s travel and tourism industry plays an indispensable role in driving economic growth, creating jobs and supporting communities across the metro area. To kick off National Travel & Tourism Week and build excitement for the summer travel season, VISIT Milwaukee and Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport are joining together to emphasize to local stakeholders how the travel industry moves Milwaukee forward.

“The health of Milwaukee’s economy relies on the millions of visitors who choose Milwaukee time and again, and National Travel & Tourism Week is the perfect time to reflect on that impact,” says VISIT Milwaukee President & CEO Peggy Williams-Smith. “This industry hires from all corners of the community and provides fun, fulfilling and well-paying jobs. We’re thrilled to highlight those frontline workers and their employers – as well as all of the amazing things to come this summer – in partnership with Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, our partners in tourism at the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, Employ Milwaukee, and Great Lakes Shore Excursions/Milwaukee Food & City Tours.”

Across the country, 8 million workers are directly employed within the travel industry, which supports a total of 15 million American jobs. In the Greater Milwaukee area, travel and tourism support over 41,000 jobs with employees coming from all corners of the metro area.

"Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) is a major driver of tourism in Milwaukee County and across southeast Wisconsin. We are the largest and busiest airport in the State," Airport Director Brian Dranzik said. "In fact, according to our most recent economic impact study, the total economic impact of MKE on an annual basis is approximately $3 billion. On top of that, the Airport supports nearly 26,000 jobs in our community, and we have approximately 137 businesses operating on the airport campus."

To mark the occasion, VISIT Milwaukee, Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport and County Executive David Crowley will join together at 10 a.m. Monday, May 8, for a press conference in partnership with Employ Milwaukee and Great Lakes Shore Excursions/Milwaukee Food & City Tours. The press conference will feature a few exciting announcements from multiple entities, including the rest of VISIT Milwaukee’s National Travel & Tourism Week promotions, and stress the impact travel has on Milwaukee’s hospitality workers and their families.

VISIT Milwaukee’s 2023 National Travel & Tourism Week celebrations include:

  • Kick-off press conference at 10 a.m. on May 8 in the main concourse of Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport. Announcement of hospitality-focused episode of the Work in MKE Podcast from Experience Milwaukee.
  • A recognition event for VISIT Milwaukee’s 200+ volunteers, some of whom have been volunteering for the tourism bureau for over 25 years, on Tuesday, May 9.
  • The launch of the Cream City Convention Pass on Wednesday, May 10.
  • A City of Festivals-themed ticket giveaway taking place on VISIT Milwaukee’s social channels on Thursday, May 11.
  • The release of VISIT Milwaukee’s latest collaboration videos featuring Milwaukee Bucks star Bobby Portis on Friday, May 12.

Established in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is an annual tradition to celebrate the U.S. travel community and travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses and elevating the quality of life for Americans every day. May 7-13, 2023, marks the 40th anniversary of NTTW.

Press Conference Details

Where: Main concourse
Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport
When: 10 a.m., May 8, 2023

Speakers: County Executive David Crowley, Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport Director Brian Dranzik, VISIT Milwaukee President & CEO Peggy Williams-Smith, Employ Milwaukee's Jeff McCallister, and Great Lakes Shore Excursions/Milwaukee Food & City Tours Owner Theresa Nemetz