SEATTLE (March 14, 2011)– Seattle Southside Visitor Services (www.seattlesouthside.com), the official tourism department for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac, Kent and Des Moines, released the 2010 Annual Report to the community. Comparing August through December 2010 to the same months of 2009, there was a 114 percent increase in online hotel reservations, a 121 percent increase in room nights sold and a 112 percent increase in room revenue. A new marketing campaign including a rejuvenated website and redesigned vacation planner helped boost the Seattle Southside economy.

Seattle Southside underwent a brand rejuvenation in 2009 and a five-year strategic marketing plan emerged as the result. This included five elements:

  1. Protect and nurture the Seattle Southside brand as a destination and continue to reinforce the brand as the identity of our region.
  2. Continue to expand corporate and community alliances to promote the combined cities as a destination.
  3. Build the leisure and group market segments to create more tourism demand in the Southside.
  4. Enhance the portfolio of products and services to maximize Seattle Southside’s appeal.
  5. Focus on key target markets and strategies that deliver visitors to Seattle Southside.

Two tactics devised to reach these goals were the redesign of SeattleSouthside.com and the Seattle Southside Vacation Planner. The new website was launched in July 2010 with the help of Web Developer Philip Hallstrom and designers at EXCLAIM!  A newly forged partnership with Travelocity resulted in increased hotel reservations, room nights and room revenue generated. In this new website, which is available in six languages, visitors can create an itinerary complete with maps, write a review of their experience, send a post card to friends and family, search for a meeting or event space based on specific criteria and much more. It is a content rich website that is engaging and interesting. The custom state of the art back-end content management tool allows the Southside team to create and update content in a matter of minutes.

“We are thrilled with these numbers and expect these results to continue through 2011,” said Katherine Kertzman, Director of Seattle Southside Visitor Services. “2010 was a paradigm shift for Seattle Southside and in 2011, we will continue on our path of constant steady improvement by focusing on the customer and providing the best products and service.”

Along with the new website came the new vacation planner. It was completely redesigned to reflect the practical traveler and it helps to make trip planning a much smoother process. It resembles a leisure magazine with brighter visuals, richer content and a stronger call to action. For the first time, Seattle Southside offered advertising opportunities to their partners. Seattle Southside reduced the amount of guides printed to 100,000 because of the accessibility of the new online digital version of the vacation planner.

The digital version of the planner expands the message and adds valuable functionality because it is optimized for interactivity. It downloads on-demand for efficient bandwidth usage and has a convenient one-click jump, to desired page. There is also an easy-to-use interface and a tool bar allows viewers to instantly begin using the guide. The page flip animation simulates a magazine experience and the content of the guide is searchable which offers quick access to specific content.

About Seattle Southside Visitor Service

Seattle Southside Visitor Services (SSVS) is the leading tourism and marketing organization in South King County. The program offered jointly by the Cities of Tukwila, SeaTac, Kent and Des Moines, 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 www.seattlesouthside.com.  

MEDIA CONTACTS:        
Ashley Comar
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Direct:  206-575-0627 / Main: 206-575-2489
Email: Ashley@seattlesouthside.com