Visit Seattle, the city’s marketing organization, held its annual meeting Tuesday and highlighted everything from the Seattle Seahawks to international visitors and the release of a new video celebrating the city.
The nonprofit group also released its 2014 annual report, emphasizing the economic importance of vacation and business travel to Seattle and King County. Among the tourism impacts in King County (for 2012):
— 10.2 million overnight visitors
— $5.9 billion in visitor expenditures
— $4.79 million in visitor-generated tax revenues
— 53,500 jobs supported.
Some of the biggest-spending visitors are international tourists, who currently make up about 20 percent of the region’s visitors. Both Visit Seattle and the Port of Seattle are working to increase international tourism, and nonstop flights from Sea-Tac Airport to Asia and Europe have increased dramatically over the last few years.
At the Visit Seattle meeting, attended by about 650 people, the Super Bowl-winning Seahawks were celebrated with the inaugural “Tourism Champion Award” for their “inspired season, unparalleled sportsmanship and promoting Seattle’s spirit of victory to prospective visitors worldwide.” Four Seattle Tourism Ambassadors also were honored.
A new three-minute Visit Seattle video promotiong the city as a tourist destination also has been posted on Visit Seattle’s website. More than 80 Seattle organizations participated in making the video, with everything from Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers on a ferry to Rat City Rollergirls at the Space Needle.