The cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines are becoming destinations in their own right.
The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority — a collaboration among the three cities — reports that tourists spent $665 million last year, a 6.8 percent increase over 2014. It’s the fifth consecutive year of growth.
The three cities employ 4,950 in the tourism industry. For every dollar spent by the tourism authority, visitors spent $18.57, according to the report compiled by Portland-based Dean Runyan Associates.
Marketing efforts revolve around the cities’ proximity to Seattle, affordability and activities in the cities themselves.
On top of an already existing 1 percent lodging tax, the effort is funded by a new $2 per room surcharge levied on hotel operators. The organization’s annual budget is about $4 million.
You can read more about tourism in the three cities here.