|Photo by dlritter via freeimages.com|
According to reports from 2013, a return investment of $14.26 for every dollar spent on tourism marketing was observed by Seattle Southside Visitors Services -- soon to be renamed the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (SSRTA) -- prompting the decision to establish the Seattle Southside Tourism Promotion Area (TPA). Reportedly, the cities of SeaTac, Des Moines,and Tukwila experienced a significant increase in the number of visitors to the region. Prior to the recent creation of the aforementioned entities, a budget to promote local travel was drawn from lodging taxes.
Of the three cities, SeaTac, which is known for its major airport, was chosen as the seat of the TPA (which is officially comprised of the bordering regions of SeaTac, Des Moines, and Tukwila). In turn, the SSRTA will oversee key travel and tourism finance and marketing decisions for these destinations.
Overall, the decision seems welcome among representatives working in the regional tourism industry. One proponent, Frank Welton, Area General Manager of Hilton Worldwide, outlined some of the facts supporting the change: “Our region's collective 8,000 hotel rooms generate jobs, tax revenue and added vitality to the community. A greater investment in marketing our destination will have a very positive impact and I am grateful for the partnership of the hotels and the cities to make this a top priority."
If all goes according to plan, important logistical decisions, including the appointment of a Board of Directors, will be finalized by the end of the year.