Need the facts?

Our staff has compiled a lot of data on the region and tourism industry. We are happy to provide you with details, reports and statistics.


Tourism's Economic Impact on our Community from 2020: 

2019 was the 10th year of strong consecutive growth resulting in one of the best years for the region. However, like the rest of the world, 2020 was one of the worst years for tourism.

  • $363.6 Million in visitor spending was generated in 2020 down 53.9% from the previous year.
  • $36.5 Million was generated in state and local taxes.
  • 3,210 hospitality employees are employed in Seattle Southside.
  • In King County, tourism saves the average household $1,425 in taxes annually

For more data please see the 2020 Seattle Southside Travel Impacts study, prepared for Seattle Southside, that documents the economic significance of the travel industry in the Seattle Southside area of King County from 2003 through 2020. The 2020 Annual Report also contains more valuable tourism data for Seattle Southside. 2021 Annual Report coming soon. 


Tourism's Impact on Washington State

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 $2.9 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 188,400 jobs.

  • The total number of overnight person-trips (43 million) increased by 1.4% in 2018, 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 $24.4 billion in 2018, up 5.1% in current dollars over 2017.  

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 

RTA Impact Research


Fifty-six percent of those who made inquiries to a Seattle Southside Visitor Center ultimately visited the area. Compared to the H2R industry norm of 33% for destinations across the United States, this is very strong. Visitors who inquire tend to stay longer and spend more than the average visitor to Seattle Southside. They typically stay 3.54 nights and spend $1,007.

Read the 2014 Visitor Conversion Study



Shuttle riders spend approximately $172 per person on their free trip from their SeaTac hotel to Westfield Southcenter; shuttle riders from outside the United States spend more money ($190 vs. $158) and more time (approximately three hours) at the shopping center.

Riders were very satisfied with their experience on the bus. More than nine in ten riders indicated that they were somewhat or very satisfied with the friendliness of the driver, the cleanliness of the shuttle and the comfort of the ride. Additionally, 85% indicated that they were satisfied with the timeliness of the shuttle.

Read the 2015 Shuttle Rider Study



A majority of the Seattle Southside website visitors had already decided to make a trip to the area when they visited the site. These website visitors were searching for activities to do in the area (80%), dining options (55%) and events and festivals (52%) for their trip.

The Seattle Southside website has a conversion rate of 28%. This means that more than one-fourth of website visitors booked an overnight trip to the area after visiting the website.

Nearly half of website visitors said their visit to the website persuaded them to visit attractions or restaurants they had not planned to visit, while 20% said they decided to visit Seattle Southside instead of another destination, and 15% said the website persuaded them to stay longer than planned.

Read the 2018/19 Digital Conversion Study