Tourism rises for 10th straight year

Visitor spending rises an ‘impressive’ 3.6%
Updated: Mon, 03/02/2020 - 11:06
 
 
  • Visitor spending rises an ‘impressive’ 3.6%
A fish monger at Pike Place Market catches a fish for tourists.

Tourists continue flocking to King County in record numbers.

About 41.9 million visitors came to King County last year, a 2.3% increase from 2018, according preliminary numbers from Visit Seattle, the county’s tourism marketing organization. They spent $8.1 billion, which Visit Seattle called an “impressive” increase of 3.6%.

The number of tourists visiting the region has increased every year since 2010.

All those visitors are also helping to create jobs: More than 80,000 people now work in tourism-related industries, an increase of 2.4% from 2018.

Visit Seattle President and CEO Tom Norwalk said the organization was “excited” by the numbers, but warned that tourism is fragile “as global events directly impact lives and businesses in Seattle and our region.”

Norwalk says the coronavirus outbreak will result in 30,000 fewer tourists from China this year, about a 15% decline.

Visit Seattle will release final numbers in May.

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