WASHINGTON STATE VISITOR IMPACT
IN 2022, rising prices boosted average spending per visitor 16% to $216 per visitor to Washington. Overall, visitor expenditures increased 24% to $22.1 billion in 2022, 101.0% of 2019 levels nominally. However, due to the 14.5% rise in the national Consumer Price Index between 2019 and 2022, in real terms total visitor spending in 2022 amounted to just 86.3% of 2019 levels.
Last year the state’s visitor volume increased 7.3% to 102.2 million, still just 93% of 2019 levels. Visitation is largely dominated by domestic visitors (97.6% market share) while international visitation – representing strong growth potential for destinations with international air service – lags (2.4% of all visitors).
Direct state and local tax revenue increased 19.6% from 2021to $3.1 billion, down 1.4% relative to 2019. The total state and local taxes paid by visitors to Washington offset the average state household tax burden by $1,049 per year.
Comparatively, Washington’s recovery in visitor spending and tax generation rank among the five worst performing states in the nation, year-to-date through March 2023, according to Tourism Economics preliminary figures. Nationally, growth in visitor expenditures averages 4.3% compared to Washington’s -3%, and growth in visitor-generated tax revenue averages 3.8% nationally compared to Washington’s -2.8%. All competing western states have growth in both areas, some logging double-digit growth.
READ THE 2022 VISITOR IMPACT RESULTS