Seattle hotel occupancy rates hit record highs in 2014

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Seattle hotel occupancy rates hit record highs in 2014

Tourism promotion efforts reap benefits for local economy

SEATTLE – Occupancy levels at Seattle hotels reached a record high last year, according to numbers presented to the City Council this morning by Visit Seattle, the region’s destination marketing organization. Hotels in downtown Seattle filled 82.2% of their rooms on average through the year, according to data provided to Visit Seattle from Smith Travel Research based upon 10,958 downtown hotel rooms.

In late 2011, the City Council created the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area, a marketing and promotion fund. Visit Seattle credited this fund with playing a key role in the increase.

“Our collective efforts to promote the vibrant culture and natural beauty of Seattle are bringing more visitors and more jobs to our region,” said Council President Tim Burgess, sponsor of the 2011 legislation. “I’m delighted by the success of this program.”

Hotels within the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area’s geographic boundaries pay a $2 per night room fee into a pooled fund. Proceeds from this fund are used to market Seattle as a destination during the “shoulder seasons” that come immediately before and after the busy summer travel period.

“The travel and tourism industry is very, very competitive and we feel fortunate that our city council and our hotel community gave us the additional tools to allow Seattle to compete on a global stage,” said Tom Norwalk, President & CEO of Visit Seattle.

In 2013, the tourism industry directly supported 68,000 jobs in Seattle-King County and 18.6 million visitors spent $6 billion, resulting in nearly $600 million in total state and local tax revenue. Detailed numbers for 2014 will be released later this year.

[View in Council Newsroom]