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701 Pike Street Suite 800
Seattle, WA 98101
State of the Industry
Seattle is a premier national and international destination for leisure, business and convention travel. Visit Seattle works with more than 1,000 private sector partner businesses to promote the region.
Annual visitor spending of more than $500 billion represents approximately 10 percent of all taxable sales in King County.
Tourism by the Numbers - King County
Overnight Visitors 10.2 million
Visitor Expenditures $5.9 billion
Taxes Paid by Visitors $479 million
Jobs Generated by Tourism 53,500
Dean Runyan Associates, compiled for Visit Seattle
Tourism Industry Issues
- Recently-inaugurated oversees air service includes Emirates Airlines, Dubai-Seattle (2012); Delta Airlines, Osaka and Beijing-Seattle (2010), Icelandair, Reykjavik-Seattle (2009); Lufthansa Airlines, Frankfurt-Seattle (2008).
The Port of Seattle has grown as a premier port for Alaskan cruises with 201 cruise ship calls and more than 440,000 passengers in 2012.
Nearly 40 percent of audiences at King County non-profit cultural organizations are non-local. Cultural travelers stay longer and spend 50 percent more than local audiences, helping to increase the lodging tax receipts that in turn support more than 200 arts and heritage organizations throughout King County.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travelers have higher disposable income, on average, than members of other niche travel markets and are less daunted than others by economics, security concerns and other negative factors on travel.
- Seattle Central Waterfront restoration and short-term construction mitigation of the visitor impacts from the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and construction of the new deep-bored tunnel.
Overseas visitation to the U.S. Visit Seattle is working at the local, state and national levels to improve U.S. non-immigrant travel to the U.S., sustained by a new, first-ever national strategy to increase such travel announced by President Obama in January 2012.
Cooperative support with other destination marketing organizations for the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA), which replaces the state tourism office and is critical to maintaining Washington’s tourism market share.
Elevating the Seattle visitor experience in downtown Seattle by improving wayfinding, enhancing visitor information and service and ensuring a clean, safe and welcoming landscape.
Washington State Travel Impacts, 1991-2008p, which prepared by Dean Runyan Associates for the Washington State Community, Trade and Economic Development Tourism Office, provides more detailed tourism data by county. To learn more about the state's impact on travel in Washington State, download this pdf >>
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For more information about Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here >>