Seattle, Wash (June 3, 2013)– Seattle Southside Visitor Services (www.seattlesouthside.com), the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Des Moines, Kent, SeaTac and Tukwila, released the Annual Report to the Community.
Seattle Southside Visitor Services (SSVS) must report annually and include direct accomplishments from 2012 and upcoming initiatives for 2013 and beyond.
The report examines a competitive 12 month cycle for SSVS in a Washington State that is currently the only state in the country without government funding. The report demonstrates how SSVS supports tourism through leadership, marketing excellence and develops economic growth. The theme of the report is "To Infinity and Beyond" and it stresses that by working together, the tourism industry can accomplish anything. The 2012 Annual Report highlights key results attributable to SSVS marketing activities:
- $625 million in tourists spend (increase of 5.8%);
- $63.8 million in local and state taxes;
- 5,240 people employed by tourism industry (increase of 4.6%)
- $185.2 million earned in wages.
"Last year was the first year we've seen an increase in the average length of stay, now at 2.4 days." said Katherine Kertzman, Executive Director for Seattle Southside Visitor Services. "We also saw the strongest growth in employment since 2005, an indication that the stagnation in employment growth following the recession is finally subsiding."
With an increased emphasis in group sales, search engine optimization, visitor services, and social media and public relations, Seattle Southside staff generated more that $8 million in direct tourist spending resulting in a return of $5.84 for every $1.00 invested in the program.
The 2013 initiatives consist of continued investment in digital and search engine advertising and partnering with other Washington destination marketing organizations and traveling to trade shows to bring more meetings and events to Seattle Southside. Visitor services will remain a key focus to ensure visitors receive the best possible experience encouraging them to return and take advantage of the shoulder season promotional campaigns.
Currently, a Tourism Promotion Area is being developed which could generate an estimated $2.5 million in additional funds to promote tourism to Seattle Southside. The funds could be used for many projects including product development, additional sales staff, expanded visitor center operation and advocacy and support for statewide tourism marketing.