TACOMA, Wash. — Seattle isn’t the only urban tourist destination in western Washington: Tacoma’s tourism numbers are on the rise, according to 2018 data released this month.
According to Travel Tacoma + Pierce County, the tourism increased overall in 2018: overnight visitors increased by 2.5%, travel spending increased by 6.4% and total taxes generated by tourism increased by 4.4%. Overall travel spending reached $1.3 billion.
Dean Runyan Associates and STR Inc., two travel and tourism market research and data analytics companies, gave Travel Tacoma + Pierce County the reports.
“Everyone in Tacoma and Pierce County should love visitors as much as we do at Travel Tacoma,” Dean Burke, the president and CEO of the group said. “They show up, have a great time doing the same things we like to do, and then they leave with a memorable experience while making meaningful contributions to our local economy.”
Compared to 2008, visitors spent 45.9% more than they did a decade ago and paid 55.3% more in taxes. Hotel occupancy rates increased by nearly 20% and the average price of a hotel room increased by 16.8%. In 2018 alone, overall hotel revenue increased by almost 8% and hit a record $162 million.
Seattle and King County tourists generated $806 million in local and state taxes in 2018, which was a 6% increase from the year before. Pierce County tourists generated $132.6 million in taxes, a 4.4% increase.