• Annual Outlook Study: Seattle’s Tourism Industry is Recovering

     
    POSTED May 5, 2022
     
  • Annual Outlook Study: Seattle’s Tourism Industry is Recovering

     
    POSTED May 5, 2022
     
  • Annual Outlook Study: Seattle’s Tourism Industry is Recovering

     
    POSTED May 5, 2022
     

How are we doing? Pretty good. That was the bottom-line assessment that was shared with the nearly 600 tourism and professionals who attended Visit Seattle’s Annual Outlook Meeting at the Westin Seattle on March 31.

Some highlights from the 2021 study showed:

  • In a year focused on recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle and King County saw an increase in visitor volume, expenditures, tax contributions and travel-related employment for Seattle and King County in 2021.
  • Preliminary estimates indicate that a total of 27.5 million visitors came to the city and county in 2021, a 25% increase from the previous year, according to the Visit Seattle report, which was created in conjunction with its national research firm, Tourism Economics. Overnight visitors increased 37.8% to 14.7 million.
  • Those visitors spent $5.6 billion in the city and county in 2021 – an impressive increase of 43.8% from the challenging previous year. Visitors paid $550.5 million in state and local taxes in 2021, an increase of 50.7% from the previous year.
  • Tourism related jobs also continued to recover in the city and county in 2021; there were 58,085 travel related jobs (up by 19.3%) in Seattle and King County. 

“While tourism’s recovery to pre-pandemic levels will be years in the making, we are encouraged to see considerable progress made in 2021,” Visit Seattle’s outgoing president and CEO Tom Norwalk said. “After two challenging years, we are very optimistic about our destination’s outlook in 2022. Our future is incredibly bright and I will always be cheering this region on.”

When I visited Boise Centre for our recent cover story on Idaho’s capital city, I found the convention center, much like the city itself, spotless and both nimble and responsible in reacting to the ongoing pandemic.

 

In early March, Meeting Professionals International released a statement regarding the invasion of Ukraine: 

“In a show of support for the people of Ukraine, MPI will immediately suspend business with all companies in Russia. In addition, any plans to formalize a chapter in Russia will be paused….We remain concerned for the well-being of our community and our MPI members in Russia and Ukraine who were already seeking to climb out of the shadow of this pandemic and are now experiencing these unprecedented challenges.”

 

 Meeting Professionals International (MPI), published its 2022 Winter Meetings Outlook, a quarterly report that identifies new trends and innovations. 

Among its findings: