Strategic PlanSEATTLE, WASH. (December 20, 2016) – The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) recently completed its five-year strategic plan, designed to attract more visitors to the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila, and Des Moines. The plan was developed over the course of six months by the Seattle Southside Strategic Planning Committee, a group made up of RTA staff, TPA Hotel Management staff and other stakeholders. Based on research, the strategic plan process included interviews with businesses, residents, visitors and elected officials; a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) identification exercise; the creation of the region’s promise that drove all strategies and actions, and metrics for success.

The strategic plan is based on a central promise that the RTA makes to visitors in the region that they can “Do More” when they stay in Seattle Southside.  The idea behind the Do More promise is that visitors can maximize their visit because Seattle Southside’s location, transportation, affordability and unique attractions stretch visitor’s time, money and opportunities further. For example, the Link light rail system makes it easy for people to visit Seattle’s attractions while staying in Seattle Southside.  Additionally, the Des Moines waterfront, the Museum of Flight, Tukwila’s Westfield Southcenter mall and the many restaurants in the area provide visitors with destination attractions in the south end.

The strategic plan is designed to accomplish four goals:

·       increase the number of tourists and groups,

·       increase the average length of stay,

·       increase visitor spending, and

·       demonstrate an increase in the RTA’s return on investment.

By meeting these goals, local businesses will do better, more tax revenue will flow into the region, and local residents will be able to enjoy the new and upgraded attractions and destinations.

The plan outlines five key strategies to achieve these goals.  These include:

·       Own the region.  Build toward being the destination that visitors and groups know and prefer for accessing everything the Seattle region has to offer, emphasizing the experiences within Seattle Southside

·       Drive value and results through leadership excellence.  Be the catalyst for bringing partners together to meet the RTA’s goals.

·       Build destination experiences.  Create and build on existing experiences to create critical mass and reasons to visit.

·       Encourage easy connections to and within Seattle Southside and regional destinations, including light rail, shuttles, tours and more.

·       Create a participatory sports focus.  Recruit and leverage sports-related experiences to be known as the place for active sports fun.

Each strategy has been attached to actions—such as upgrading Seattle Southside’s website—and metrics to ensure plan implementation.

“There is so much untapped potential in Seattle Southside that this strategic plan is designed to unleash,” said Katherine Kertzman, president and CEO of Seattle Southside RTA. “We’re now ready to roll up our shirtsleeves and get to work to implement the plan and attract more visitors and their dollars to our region to boost our local economy and share the bounty these vibrant communities have to offer business and leisure travelers.”

Over the next five years, Seattle Southside staff will be working to accomplish the strategic plan’s goals and further develop Seattle Southside into a highly desirable destination for both leisure and business travelers. The Strategic Plan can be found here.

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 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.