Yesterday afternoon, the City Council passed 9-0 legislation that I sponsored with Councilmember Jean Godden to allow major hotels to impose a $2 per night room fee for tourism promotion. It was a great win for Seattle tourism. It protects current jobs in the hospitality sector and will create new ones.
The $2 fee will be collected beginning November 1 on all paid hotel rooms in the greater downtown area of the city, stretching from South Lake Union to the International District/Chinatown, Pioneer Square, and the waterfront. It's expected to raise between $5 million and $6 million per year, an investment in promotion and advertising that is expected to produce $30-$33 million in tourism revenue.
The funds will be collected by the City, then managed by the Seattle-King County Convention and Visitor's Bureau. A special rate payer advisory board, along with the Bureau's board of directors, will oversee the use of the funds. Other west coast cities with similar tourism promotion hotel fees include Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Diego.