In Washington, tourism is a $15.2 billion industry that supports nearly 144,000 jobs, contributes nearly $1 billion in local and state tax revenues. Recognizing the importance of the sector coupled with the elimination of the State Tourism office, Seattle’s leaders had to get creative. A group of local tourism industry leaders and supporters have produced a proposal that establishes a Seattle Tourism Improvement Area encompassing the greater downtown area, including Lower Queen Anne, South Lake Union, Belltown, Pioneer Square, the Chinatown/International District, and portions of Capitol Hill. The proposal has garnered the overwhelming majority (77%) of support from the downtown hotels.
If The Tourism Improvement Area proposal is approved by the Council, hotels with 60 rooms or more in the area will add a $2 surcharge per occupied room per night, resulting in the creation of a $5 – $6 million annual fund dedicated to the promotion of leisure tourism in the City of Seattle. Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau will manage the marketing efforts and focus on promoting Seattle as an offseason destination.
With the adoption of the Tourism Improvement Area, Seattle will join the growing list of large West Coast metropolitan areas (e.g., Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Anaheim) that recognize the importance of tourism to their businesses and the local economy and have agreed to assess themselves to promote Seattle.
Seattle City council has convened a public hearing for Monday, August 8, regarding the proposal to create the Tourism Improvement Area and support destination marketing and promotion for Seattle
Who: Seattle City Council
What: Public Hearing
When: Monday, Aug. 8, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Seattle City Council
Council Chambers, 2nd floor
600 4th Avenue, Seattle