Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Eau Claire continues to draw tourists in, and Wisconsin's Department of Tourism has the numbers to prove it.
In 2017, visitors directly spent $257 million in Eau Claire. That's a 12.5 percent increase since 2016. Visit Eau Claire's Executive Director, Linda John, credits the downtown developments such as the confluence project, and events like our music festivals, for bringing tourists to our city.
"We just have become this gem as sort of the arts culture, independent spirit, entrepreneurial, it's a great place to come start your own business, go to school, retire," said John. "Sometimes people think they have this idea of what Eau Claire is like, but when they really come here and experience it, it's way beyond their expectations."
The tourism spending increase ranks Eau Claire County 10th out of 72 counties in the state for the first time in history. John said she's confident we can beat that number in 2018.