June 3, 2020 Comments Off on Washington State’s Tourism Sector Takes $3.8B Hit Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Views: 425 Seattle & Pacific Northwest News, Top Seattle

Washington State’s Tourism Sector Takes $3.8B Hit Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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Figures released on Tuesday by the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) indicate that tourism in Washington State logged double digit growth during the past five years – generating $10.9 billion in direct state GDP in 2019 alone – before the industry’s near total shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19. WTA reports Washington State has experienced a dramatic decline in tourism in 2020 due to the global pandemic. In fact, since the beginning of March, visitor spending in Washington has declined by $3.8 billion compared with last year’s figures.

Traveler spending in Washington has averaged losses of 77% over the past 12 weeks. Hotel room revenue alone has declined 72% between March 1 and May 23. And in April alone, Seattle Tacoma International Airport experienced a decrease of 93.6% in passenger volume, compared with April 2019; international traffic decreased 97.1%, and domestic traffic decreased 93.1%.

WTA’s David Blandford says, “Our state’s tourism industry has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. That impact was sudden and severe in every industry sector and immediately undercut funding for nonprofit destination marketing programs needed to jumpstart economic recovery and sustain jobs.”

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