Tourism is Washington’s fourth largest industry and impacts more than hotels, restaurants and destinations. It benefits retailers, outdoor recreation, state parks, ports and cities—and ultimately, the taxpayers of Washington. More than $1.8 billion in local and state tax revenues are generated directly from tourism. It’s the largest employer of women and minorities and is responsible for more than 170,500 jobs.

  • The total number of overnight person-trips (40.1 million) increased by 1.8% in 2016, similar to the preceding year, according to preliminary data compiled for the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) by Dean Runyan Associates in the report “Washington State Spending and Visitor Volume.”
  • Direct visitor spending in Washington was $21.5 billion in 2016, up 4.4% in current dollars over 2015. 
  • WTA’s new research also reported on tourism employment and tax revenue. The travel and tourism industry supported more than 177,100 jobs in 2016, up 4.4% from 2015. 

Our state’s expanding cruise industry benefits our region in a number of ways. Every time a homeport ship docks, it contributes $2.7 million to our local economy. According to 2016 data, local economic impact included:

  • $501 million in annual business revenue 
  • $18.9 million in annual state and local taxes
  • Over 4,000 jobs