FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2020
WTA Media Contact:
SEATTLE – On July 28, the Port of Seattle Commission voted unanimously to authorize a $1.5 million joint marketing agreement with Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA), the state’s non-profit tourism marketing agency, to promote tourism recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This agreement, funded by the Port property tax levy, will help stimulate the region’s economic recovery by regenerating interest in travel to Seattle and Washington state in the U.S. and Canada while emphasizing travel in alignment with public health guidelines.
The strategic recovery plan will focus on stimulating in- and out-of-state tourism in alignment with state public health and policy guidelines. The multi-tiered program will include consumer marketing, public education and a “responsible travel” public education campaign, advertising, public relations, social media and travel trade development, in addition to industry recovery programs, technical assistance and business recovery programs for small businesses and rural or underserved communities.
The tourism industry has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Tourism industry job losses represent some 40 percent of all job losses in Washington State, according to data released by the WTA in June. March through June 2020, visitor spending in Washington declined $3.8 billion compared with 2019, and traveler spending averaged losses of 77 percent. Through June, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport – the state’s air gateway – weekly volume averaged 15,500, down 75 percent.
Nationally, many estimates call for sustained travel and tourism industry recovery over the next three years. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that COVID-19 will be nine times more impactful to the U.S. travel and tourism industry than 9/11, and that travel Industry losses will result in a GDP impact of $1.2 trillion on U.S. economy.
About the Washington Tourism Alliance
The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) is a 501[c]6 organization established by industry stakeholders with the sole mission of sustaining Washington State destination tourism marketing. The WTA procures and administers funds for state destination tourism marketing activities and creates and implements a strategic statewide destination marketing plan. www.watourismalliance.com