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Chamber will distribute state tourism information

The Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau has stepped up to partner with the state Tourism Department by providing a location for Wisconsin tourist information at its office at 502 Second St. in downtown Hudson.

As reported earlier, the State Department of Tourism has stopped staffing eight Welcome Centers throughout the state and has actually closed the Hudson rest stop located just off I-94 on Crest View Drive.

"Your Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau sees the value in offering this service to the many travelers that pass through Hudson," said Chamber President Kim Heinemann. "As one of the top three industries in Wisconsin, tourism is a tremendous economic driver and it adds much to our quality of life."

Travelers spent more than $13.12 billion in Wisconsin in 2008. Tourism posted a 2.7 percent gain in 2008.

"Even as our nation contended with an unprecedented economic crisis and severe weather in 2008, Wisconsin's $13 billion tourism industry remained one of the core strengths of the state's economy," said Tourism Secretary Kelli A. Trumble. "This is a testament to the power of travel and its impact on our state's economy, generating jobs, wages and tax revenues for the state.

"It also proves what we've always known; that our tourism industry provides a vacation experience so valued by our visitors that it is not something that they are willing to part with easily."

An example of positive economic impact from a local event can be proven with last year's Spirit of the St. Croix Days event hosted by the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. The event had a positive economic impact in the Hudson community and at local businesses in the amount of $396,627 compared to the same time in 2007, and the event increased overnight stays at local hotels from 67 percent to 80 percent.

Heinemann said the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau's first strategy with this new partnership with the State Department of Tourism is to encourage the tourist/visitor to stay and enjoy Hudson.

The Chamber office display area provides information about attractions, dining, lodging, shopping and events happening in Hudson.

"We encourage the visitor to take advantage of Hudson's many assets," Heinemann said. "As we provide information about Hudson we also invite the visitor back to enjoy the many activities throughout the year.

"Next, we encourage the visitor to explore our region with an overnight stay in Hudson. While visiting Hudson, the visitor will be able to gather state tourism publications and tourism guides from other Wisconsin communities.

As a partner with the State Department of Tourism, the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau will receive increased visibility on the State Department of Tourism's Web site. Hudson will be promoted as a tourism information location, and this benefit will result in increased tourism awareness about Hudson with direct links to the Chamber's Web site,