SEATTLE, WASH. (July 6, 2017) – Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA), the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines, today issued its first annual report since it began operations as an RTA. The comprehensive 2017 Annual Report provides comprehensive data gathered throughout 2016 and highlights upcoming initiatives for 2017 and beyond.

The report showcases how Seattle Southside RTA supports tourism through advocacy and innovative services, marketing excellence and developing the economic strength of the region as travel and tourism in the Northwest is flourishing. The complete 2017 Annual Report is available here. Highlights from the report include:

  • Seattle Southside generated $168,032,502 in visitor spending.
  • Overall travel spending in Seattle Southside increased by 4 percent from 2015 to 2016.
  • Seattle Southside experienced $40.31 in visitor spending for each dollar spent on marketing the regional destination.
  • $3.9 million was spent by overnight visitors in Seattle Southside during 2016.
  • Seattle Southside generated 174,674 room nights in 2016 from various marketing efforts.
  • The Seattle Southside sales team generated 233 leads and assists for group, convention and conference business throughout 2016 from various sales efforts.

“Our first annual report as an RTA demonstrates how regional partnerships are key to our success,” said Katherine Kertzman, president and CEO of Seattle Southside RTA. “There are many economic drivers resulting from a dynamic tourism campaign, including hotel stays but also visitor spending with our local retailers, restaurants and attractions. Our team looks forward to growing not only lodging numbers, but creating a more dynamic visitor experience for all travelers, especially those who are booking rooms in Seattle Southside and exploring all of the greater Seattle area from here.”

Seattle Southside RTA became fully staffed and operational on January 1, 2016, serving under a private sector Board of Directors composed of Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) ratepayers and hoteliers with 90 or more rooms who collect a $2 fee per occupied room night. Significant accomplishments made through the newly formed RTA include contracting with the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines for more than $1 million in lodging tax and receiving $3.5 million in TPA assessments to market the regional destination.   

“We value our partnerships and are proud of what we can accomplish together,” said Kertzman. “Our joint understanding of the importance of increasing awareness of Seattle Southside as a destination positions us to work together to promote the region and have a positive economic impact.”

The Seattle Southside RTA plans to conduct an annual awareness survey to learn more about their audience perception, identify the best customer segments and adjust marketing strategies accordingly. Additionally, Seattle Southside RTA will continue to act as a community leader and advocate, emphasizing that tourism matters and brings measurable value to the community. They will also continue to find ways to integrate business partners into marketing Seattle Southside as a destination.

The Seattle Southside Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) was established in October 2014, a public corporation and separate legal entity, which manages increased funding and tourism promotion activities for the cities of Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila. The boundaries of the three cities make up the TPA. The RTA was established in 2016.

About Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority

Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is the official destination marketing organization for South Seattle. The organization is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal travel destination for leisure and business travelers who wish to explore Western Washington, and as an idyllic place for meeting and event planners to hold their events. The Seattle Southside RTA is funded by a self-assessed hotel fund and supported by a lodging tax from the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. For more information, please visit www.seattlesouthside.com or call 877-885-9452.