Visit Seattle: 40.9 million visitors spent more than $7.9 billion in 2018

Visit Seattle released its full 2018 tourism report. In 2018, more than 40.9 million visitors spent $7.9 billion in the city and county, up by 2.5 percent and 5.8 percent respectively.

According to the final report created in conjunction with Visit Seattle’s national research firms, Tourism Economics and Longwoods International, of the 40.9 million visitors, 38 million came from other parts of the U.S. and the remaining 2.9 million were international travelers.

“Seattle and our region is an inspiring destination and it is an honor to share it with the millions of visitors that come here from all over the world each year,” Visit Seattle President & CEO Tom Norwalk said. “Nine years of record-breaking growth does not happen by chance – it happens because of the dedicated individuals who work across the tourism industry in nearly a dozen sectors on behalf of the city, county and state. Sharing the passion for this place is in the DNA of each person here – from restaurant servers to hoteliers, market vendors to business owners to the Seattleite who gives a recommendation to their favorite corner bistro. The people of Seattle make this city stand apart and continue to inspire all who visit.”

Highlights from the 2018 tourism report include:

  • Locally, tourism sustained 78,400 jobs and produced $3.8 billion in direct income for employees in King County in 2018. That averages out to one in every 18 jobs in the county and reflects growth of 5.6 percent in the last year.
  • Since 2010, jobs in the tourism industry have grown on average by 1,400 per year, up 23.5 percent. In this area, Seattle and King County continue to outpace the state and nation.
  • Overnight visitors to Seattle and King County also continue to increase, growing 2.3 percent in 2018 to 21.3 million visitors. Though hotel supply grew by 5.9 percent in 2018 with the opening of several new hotels across the county, room revenue growth was robust at 6.6 percent and both demand and average room rates rose by more than 3 percent each.
  • Of the $7.9 billion spent by visitors in the city and county during 2018, the largest areas of spending for visitors was lodging and food and beverage followed by retail and recreation. Total tourism-generated tax revenues were $1.1 billion in 2018, a 3.5 percent increase from 2017. Of that, visitors contributed $806 million in state and local taxes in 2018, an increase of 5.7 percent. Visitor spending and tax generation helps to offset the average household tax burden by $947 per household each year.
  • When indirect and induced impacts of this spending are calculated, tourism in Seattle generated an estimated $11.3 billion total economic impact.

Read the full article here.