• Visit Seattle Reflects on Record-Breaking Tourism in 2018

     
    POSTED May 13, 2019
     
  • Visit Seattle Reflects on Record-Breaking Tourism in 2018

     
    POSTED May 13, 2019
     
  • Visit Seattle Reflects on Record-Breaking Tourism in 2018

     
    POSTED May 13, 2019
     
  • Visit Seattle Reflects on Record-Breaking Tourism in 2018

     
    POSTED May 13, 2019
     
  • Visit Seattle Reflects on Record-Breaking Tourism in 2018

     
    POSTED May 13, 2019
     

Visit Seattle experienced record-breaking tourism in 2018, with downtown Seattle hotel occupancies above 80 percent despite a 2,934-room increase with new hotel openings in 2018 and 2019. Meetings and conventions bookings peaked at 691,163 total room nights booked in 2018.

The Washington State Convention Center had a record year in business, as did Visit Seattle, Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport and Norwegian Cruise Line, Seattle's Alaskan cruise business. Sea-Tac had a record-breaking passenger volume in 2018, with a 6.2 percent increase from the 49.8 million passengers in 2017. Additionally, Sea-Tac traffic grew 5.8 percent with service from 29 international destinations, making it the eighth busiest airport in the United States.

Some of Seattle's busiest events in 2018 included Taste Washington, Space Needle's "Spacelift," the opening of the Nordic Museum, Pearl Jam and the 2018 James Beard Awards and Nominations.

"Seattle is a vibrant and distinctive waterfront city with new developments breaking ground frequently," says Tom Norwalk, president and CEO of Visit Seattle. "It offers a compact, walkable and highly accessible downtown featuring an outstanding brand mix of world-class hotels, an award-winning culinary scene, flagship retail shopping, and vibrant arts and cultural institutions, all within steps of the Washington State Convention Center and its upcoming addition, Summit, opening in 2022."

Norwalk says Seattle's increase in tourism has had positive effects on the meetings and events industry, as it has encouraged growth in hotel inventory, award-winning restaurants, new cultural institutions and attractions, and more. 

Based on the patterns of past years, Norwalk says Visit Seattle has been able to project how many meetings attendees will come to Seattle in future years. In 2019, it's projected that Seattle will see 475,000 meetings attendees, which is projected to increase to 620,000 by 2025.

"Seattle is one of the few cities that can offer the complete package of a major convention facility with hotels all located in the heart of a vibrant downtown," Norwalk says. "There is a wide variety of full-service and affordable hotel accommodation options." By the end of 2019, Norwalk says downtown Seattle will have 13,681 rooms, all within 13 blocks of the Washington State Convention Center.

Due to COVID-19, non-essential travel was, or has been, banned for months. Long anticipated trips and in-person gatherings were canceled and people have adjusted to the new normal: staying at home and meeting over Zoom. However, states have been slowly lifting restrictions, and non-essential travel will soon be happening across the country again. However, some may not be as comfortable with the thought of traveling as they were before the pandemic.  

 

Portland will be home to the first Ritz-Carlton in the Pacific Northwest. Developer BPM Real Estate Group is bringing the brand to the city, with an anticipated opening in early 2023. Plans call for a 35-story tower with 251 hotel rooms and 138 residential units, including eight penthouses.

 

Although several cities are opening up again, many offices are still enforcing work from home policies. As they did when Stay at Home first began, plenty of organizations are still offering webinars with insights on how to tackle the new normal. Gaining new knowledge is a great way to use extra time that might have been spent on a commute. 

Here at M+E, we’ll keep the following list updated, as some webinars are live and some are pre-recorded. Please email lauren.pahmeier@tigeroak.com to add more applicable webinars to the list.