Economic Travel Impact Studies

Our work makes a measurable difference.



Facts and figures from 2019: 

  • 2019 was the 10th year of strong consecutive growth.
  • The RTA sales team met with 439 planners around the country generating 8,034 booked rooms.
  • According to our conversion study, the people we interact with stay longer: 3.8 nights per visit.
  • $787.9 Million in visitor spending can be directly attributed to the RTA's tourism promotion efforts, the highest on record to-date.
  • $80.9 Million was generated in state and local taxes.
  • The RTA's ROI is $41.86 for every advertising dollar spent on regional tourism promotion.
  • 5,110 hospitality employees are employed in Seattle Southside.
  • 620,657 RTA-generated room nights.
  • In King County, tourism saves the average household $1,425 in taxes annually

For more data please see the 2019 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 2019. The 2020 Annual Report pdf also contains more valuable tourism data for Seattle Southside.



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