SEATTLE (March 23, 2015) – Seattle Southside, the official tourism organization for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines, reports 2014 travel impact is increasingly positive, with tourists spending $620 million, an increase of 9.5 percent over 2013.

The annual study, compiled by research firm Dean Runyan Associates, shows the best year on record for visitor spending, local and state tax receipts and tourism employment. This is the fourth consecutive year demonstrating strong growth in the Seattle Southside travel industry.

“Our region’s ongoing success is the result of outstanding collaboration between the cities of SeaTac, Des Moines and Tukwila,” said Katherine Kertzman, executive director of Seattle Southside. “Our partnerships with each of the three municipalities and our hospitality industry now allow us to increase our marketing budget significantly, which we know from experience has a return of investment of $14 in visitor spending for each dollar spent. Seattle Southside as a destination will remain competitive and continue to flourish.”

With 4,840 people employed by the tourism industry in Seattle Southside and $30.3 million generated in local tax receipts, this report shows how the travel industry is a key contributor to the economic well-being of the Seattle Southside region. As the fourth-largest industry in Washington State, tourism supports small businesses, strengthens local economies, creates jobs and brings in additional tax revenues.

The full Dean Runyan Travel Impacts report is available here. Highlights from the report:

·        Travel spending in Seattle Southside increased by 9.5 percent from 2013 to 2014 (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 surpassed $200 million for the first time.

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

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

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

The industry will celebrate the success of their collaboration with their annual Seattle Southside Tourism Networking Meeting on Wednesday, May 20th at The Crowne Plaza SeaTac Hotel.

About Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority

Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (SSRTA), is the official tourism and marketing organization in South King County. The program offered jointly by the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila, 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 or call 877-885-9452.

###

MEDIA CONTACT:                 

Ashley Comar
Marketing & Communications Manager
Direct: 206-575-0627 / 206-575-2489
Email: Ashley@seattlesouthside.com