FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Katherine Kertzman 575-2489

TUKWILA-SEATAC, Washington-The cities of Tukwila and SeaTac have signed a three-year Interlocal Agreement (ILA) for the purposes of promoting tourism on the Southside, and each city plans to contribute $350,000 annually to the effort.

"Our two cities individually have a lot to offer the visitor, but together, we have an increased ability to stimulate potential tourists’ interest and desire to visit us," said Tukwila Mayor Steve Mullet. "We complement one another extremely well," said Joe Brennan, SeaTac's deputy mayor and chair of that city's Hotel Motel Tax Advisory Committee. "Whereas SeaTac has the lion's share of guest rooms, meeting facilities and the airport, Tukwila is an important regional center for retail shopping, dining, and family entertainment. Tukwila has more than 5 million square feet of retail shopping, world famous Museum of Flight, eight-acre Family Fun Center, golf, Movie Theater, and much more."

Last year, SeaTac International Airport brought 13.5 million tourists to the area. The cities proximity to downtown Seattle and the airport makes Southside an ideal destination for out of town guests. Most hotels/motels offer complimentary airport shuttle service. While regularly scheduled shuttle services is available to hotel/motel guests round trip to downtown Seattle for only $12.

Together SeaTac and Tukwila have approximately 7,800 guest rooms available within five minutes of the airport. This represents 26 percent of the lodging capacity in King County. The area included in the two-city cooperative agreement features a full range of guest accommodations from short-stay to extended-stay facilities. These hotels are typically priced 20 to 30% less than lodging in downtown Seattle.

The initial action plan of the two cities includes a $230,000 media branding blitz to promote Southside tourism, as well as a website, a kiosk program in all hotels, and a toll-free number serving all Tukwila and SeaTac hotels. Potential visitor calls can be transferred directly to any hotel during business hours. An after-hours automated attendant/directory will allow callers to reach their hotel of choice.

Travelers will be encouraged to dine at Southside restaurants through the use of concierge books placed in hotel lobbies. These publications will feature photos, sample menus and restaurant hours.

"The Southside has traditionally proven attractive to regional travelers from eastern Washington and Alaska," said Katherine Kertzman, Program Director, Seattle’s Southside Visitors Information Services, the new name for the two-city cooperative program. "Many travel destinations with such regional markets did well, even in the recent downturn, because people chose to travel shorter distances. We plan to continue to develop this regional market for the Southside”.

CONTACT:

Seattle's Southside Visitors Information Services

Katherine Kertzman, Program Director

Phone: 206-575-2489

Email: kkertzman@ci.tukwila.wa.us

http://www.SeattleSouthside.com