Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce logoNational Travel & Tourism Week logoVote Travel logoSeattle Southside RTA logo

Seattle, Wash (May 4, 2012)– Katherine Kertzman, Executive Director of Seattle Southside Visitor Services (, the official tourism department for the Cities Des Moines, Kent, SeaTac and Tukwila, will present the regional economic impacts on travel and the importance of tourism Friday, May 11, 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. at Doubletree by Hilton Seattle Airport as part of the 29thannual National Travel and Tourism Week. Employees representing major sectors of the travel industry will attend this event hosted by the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce – many dressed in red – in a show of support for the jobs and economic impact created by visitors to Washington State.

More than 75 cities nationwide are expected to hold events to champion travel as a jobs creator and revenue generator. Many events will be staged under the “Vote Travel” theme as part of the U.S. Travel Association’s year-long campaign to raise the travel industry’s profile across the country and among policymakers during this election season.

“Travel and tourism supports 14.4 million jobs across the nation, including many right here in Seattle Southside,” said Kertzman.  “We are gathering to celebrate the benefits of travel in our community, and we’re letting our elected officials and local citizens know that a vote for travel is a vote for Seattle Southside.” 

Travel and tourism is a $592.1 million industry for Seattle Southside providing 5,010 jobs and generating $23.1 million in local tax revenue. Travel is a broad and diverse industry employing a vast workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers. Travel and tourism further supports employees in other industry sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and finance.

“Travel is a force that can drive our nation’s economic recovery. It is one of the healthiest sectors of our economy in terms of job creation and hiring, employing one out of every nine Americans,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry. “During this election season, we are galvanizing support to ‘Vote Travel’ to showcase the power of our industry and its impact on our economy.”

Travel and tourism generated $1.9 trillion in economic output for the U.S. economy in 2011. The industry also represents one of America’s largest employers, supporting 14.4 million jobs (including 7.5 million directly in the travel industry and 6.9 million in other industries). Direct spending by domestic and international travelers averaged $2.2 billion a day, $92.8 million an hour, $1.5 million a minute and $25,700 a second.

“I’ve worked in the travel industry for 35 years, and I depend on visitors for my living,” said Mike Miller, General Manager at Rainforest Cafe. “When people make the choice to travel to Seattle Southside, it makes an enormous impact on the residents who live and work here. A vote for travel is a vote for me.”

Luncheon Registration Information

Date & Time:      Friday, May 11, 11:30am to 1:30pm

Location:             Doubletree by Hilton Seattle Airport
                            18740 International Blvd. SeaTac, WA
Contact:              Brenna Arnesen
Contact Phone:  206-575-1633
Contact Email:

Registration Options:
RSVP and pay in advance ($20.00)
RSVP and pay at the door ($35.00)

About Seattle Southside Visitor Services
Southside Visitor Services (SSVS) is the leading tourism and marketing organization in South King County. The program, offered jointly by the Cities of Des Moines, Kent, SeaTac, and Tukwila, is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal travel destination for tourists who wish to explore Western Washington. For more information, please visit



Ashley Comar
Seattle Southside Visitor Services
206-575-0627 /