Annual report from Dean Runyan Associates details continued economic impact resulting from growing tourism industry.


SEATTLE (March 1, 2015) – Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority, the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila, reports 2015 travel impact is increasingly positive, with tourists spending $665 million, an increase of 6.8 percent over 2014.

The annual study, compiled by research firm Dean Runyan Associates, shows the economic significance of the travel industry in the Seattle Southside area, local and state tax receipts and tourism employment. This is the fifth consecutive year demonstrating strong growth in the Seattle Southside travel industry.

“We have a strong track record of demonstrating positive economic impact in Seattle Southside through a strategic investment in tourism,” said Katherine Kertzman, president and CEO of Seattle Southside. “The increased funding that is now delivered through our Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) will allow us to significantly increase our investments in marketing the destination, and Seattle Southside will continue to thrive by every economic measure.”

With 4,950 people employed by the tourism industry in Seattle Southside and $33.3 million generated in local tax receipts, this report shows how the travel industry is a key contributor to the economic well-being of the region. As the fourth-largest industry in Washington State, tourism supports small businesses, strengthens local economies, creates jobs and brings in additional tax revenues.

Read the full Dean Runyan 2015 Travel Impacts Report is available. Highlights from the report:

·        Travel spending in Seattle Southside increased by 6.8 percent from 2014 to 2015 (preliminary).

·        Earnings, employment and travel-generated tax receipts continue to increase.

·        The overall trend in visitor volume corresponds to the trends in travel spending.

·        Lodging sales continue to increase, and were $237 million in 2015.

·        More than 80 percent of all visitor nights in Seattle Southside are attributable to hotel/motel stays. This percentage is much greater than for hotel/motel stays in King County and Washington State, overall.

·        Visitor air arrivals (domestic only) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have also increased for the sixth year in a row.

·        In 2014, Seattle Southside RTA experienced $18.57 in visitor spending for each dollar spent. The 2015 ROI will be reported at the Tourism Symposium in May, along with the new strategic plan. See below for details.

The industry will gather on Tuesday, May 17, from 3:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton in Des Moines to learn more about Destination 2020, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority’s strategic plan to raise awareness and increase economic impact through tourism. Registration opens March 1:

The Seattle Southside Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) was established in October 2014 along with the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA), 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.

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 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 lodging tax from the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. For more information, please visit or call 877-885-9452.