SEATTLE – Seattle and King County saw record visitor volume, expenditures, tax contributions and travel-related employment for Seattle and King County in 2018 for the ninth year in a row. The results were released at Visit Seattle’s 2019 Annual Meeting at Benaroya Hall on March 4.
Visit Seattle President and CEO Tom Norwalk and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan welcomed more than 700 tourism and business professionals to the annual event. Guest speakers included NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke, Sheraton Grand Seattle General Manager Keri Robinson, MMGY Global CEO Clayton Reid, and Alaska Air Group Chairman and CEO Brad Tilden. The meeting also included a musical performance by Seattle Singer-Songwriter Mary Lambert.
Preliminary 2018 estimates for topline metrics indicate that a total of 40.9 million visitors came to the city and county in 2018, up 2.5 percent from the previous year, according to the Visit Seattle report, which was created in conjunction with its national research firms, Tourism Economics and Longwoods International. Overnight visitors increased 2.3 percent to 21.3 million.
Those visitors spent $7.8 billion in the city and county in 2018 – an impressive increase of 5.8 percent from the previous year. Visitors paid $806 million in state and local taxes in 2018, an increase of 5.7 percent from the previous year.
Tourism related jobs also grew in the city and county in 2018, there were 78,400 travel related jobs (up by 3.1 percent) in Seattle and King County. Final data from the study will be released in early May.
“We are so encouraged by these strong 2018 statistics showing significant growth in Seattle and King County tourism,” Visit Seattle President and CEO Tom Norwalk said. “Visit Seattle and our partners have worked very hard to create travel inspiration for our destination and of course, we love sharing our compelling Emerald City story around the world. Our city is poised for continued growth and for re-discovery by many visitors who may not have traveled here lately to experience the exciting changes taking place.”
About Visit Seattle:
Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development. More than 40 million annual visitors spend $7.8 billion in the city and county each year. The economic power of travel and tourism generates more than 78,000 Seattle area jobs and contributes $806 million in annual state and local tax revenue. Visit visitseattle.org.
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