A little bit about us.
Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. DMO marketing encourages visitor-related economic development in a variety of ways. A DMO can bring vibrancy and opportunity to an area through meetings, conventions, group tours, sports events and much more.
Seattle Southside RTA is a quasi-public corporation. It’s legally separate from the cities, with public oversight and active private-sector participation on the board of directors. All board meetings are open to the public (and held according to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 RCW). The RTA is chartered by the City of SeaTac as part of legislation enabling the region to collect a self-initiated Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) special assessment on room nights via an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement as required by the TPA legislation.
In South King County, there’s both the Chamber of Commerce and the RTA. And both organizations market Seattle Southside. The RTA handles visitors, meetings, group tours and sports events. The Chamber assists new residents moving in and relocating or expanding businesses.
The RTA represents all tourism-related businesses within Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila and does not charge a membership fee.
Funding for the RTA comes from a TPA special assessment of $2.00 per room per night collected by hoteliers, and those funds are directed to the RTA for management. (Occupancy taxes and special assessments are typically the way the visitor sector of the economy provides for destination marketing.)
The RTA will continue to contract with the cities for additional local lodging tax dollars to market the region. The lodging tax is a special 1% room tax visitors pay when they stay in Seattle Southside hotels, motels, campgrounds or bed-and-breakfasts. A percentage of this tax is invested into the RTA to attract more overnight visitors to the region and serve them, in order to replenish the lodging tax funds. These tax revenues provide visitor services and facilities and group sales and tourism promotion through a variety of marketing and communications initiatives.
It’s the RTA’s fiduciary duty to use these funds to promote the region to travelers and to report our results. Find out how we plan on accomplishing this with success in “Destination 2020.”
To position Seattle Southside as a destination of choice for practical travelers to Seattle while enhancing the image and economic strength of the region.
As a brand-driven and entrepreneurial destination marketing organization, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority provides advocacy and innovative services to competitively market the destination. This function helps create jobs, grow tax revenues and improve quality of life for our businesses and residents.