11a. Memo

Port of Seattle Tourism Recovery Initiatives Briefing

AGENDA MEMORANDUM                      Item No.           11a 
BRIEFING ITEM                           Date of Meeting        January 4, 2022 
DATE:     12/11/2021 
TO:        Stephen P. Metruck, Executive Director 
FROM:    Dave McFadden, Managing Director, Economic Development 
Gail Muller, Project Specialist, Tourism Development 
Patti Denny, Manager, International Tourism Development 
SUBJECT:  Port of Seattle Tourism Recovery Initiatives 
This briefing provides an overview of the Port of Seattle's efforts to help the visitor industry
rebound from pandemic related travel challenges. Tourism is a vital and significant segment of
King County and Washington State's economy and is essential to the Port of Seattle because SEA
Airport is the primary gateway for air visitation for our state. We are also a gateway of choice
for the Alaska Cruise market.
The COVID pandemic severely impacted travel and tourism in 2020 and had a huge impact on our
Port facilities.  Recognizing these challenges Commissioners supported an early $1.5 Million
investment to promote tourism recovery via a partnership with the Washington Tourism Alliance 
(WTA).  This initiative has supported a comprehensive industry recovery program involving
destinations and partners across Washington State. The WTA is now implementing an advertising
campaign to help regenerate North American Air markets to SEA International Airport. 
The Port of Seattle's Tourism grant programs and international marketing efforts have also
pivoted during the pandemic. Grant programs were reduced significantly in 2020 as travel was
impacted significantly. This year's grants were made to spotlight outdoor and local attractions
that provided sensible travel options.  The grants also helped key partners impacted by the
pandemic showcase their destinations or events.
The Port's Tourism team implemented virtual promotional efforts in key countries that generate
the most visitors to SEA International airport. The Port's international marketing efforts are
complemented via our partnerships with Visit Seattle and the WTA.
Our tourism recovery partnership with the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) continues to
unfold. Over the past few months WTA has ramped up a travel publicity campaign and started

Template revised April 12, 2018.

COMMISSION AGENDA  Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 2 of 9 
Meeting Date: January 4, 2022 
an advertising campaign to regenerate North American air markets serving SEA.  WTA is also
stepping up efforts to connect with travel trade industry professionals (hoteliers, tour operators,
destination marketing organizations and other industry professionals). These efforts are helping
the industry recover although it is still too early to quantify the return on the Port's investment
in this initiative. 
Port and WTA funds are split into the following programmatic areas 
Initiative                                  POS $         WTA       Timing (in Q
Investment           only) 
Destination Support/Development          $150,000       $100,000    Q2 2021  Q1 2022 
Travel Publicity Campaign                    $150,000        $50,000     Q3 2021  Q1 2022 
Strategy Communications Advertising       $1,080,000     $600,000    Q2 2021  Q1 2022 
Travel Trade Sales and Promotion            $120,000       $120,000    Q2 2021  Q1 2022 
TOTALS                                  $1,500,000     $870,000    Q2 2021  Q1 2022 

Destination Support and Development 
WTA is implementing a comprehensive industry recovery and destination development program
for utilization for the statewide tourism industry. Activities initiated include: 
The WTA has hosted 8 virtual, half-day destination development workshops for eight
state regions, including: Salish Sea; Islands; Beaches; the Gorge; Trails and Lakes; Wine
Country; Ponderosa; and the Palouse. Workshops were led by destination development
leader Pandion Consulting and included regional assessments, education, research,
featured speakers, fundraising development tips and tactics and more. Workshops were
attended by hundreds of community members, elected officials, and industry members
across all business segments. 
The WTA is providing tourism grants in partnership with the state departments of
agriculture and commerce. The WTA help develop and distribute $2 million in grants to
agritourism businesses throughout the state; and distributed $1 million in grants to
nonprofit destination marketing organizations in Washington 
The WTA hosted an agritourism webinar in June that attracted over 200 registrants and
featured nationally renowned experts as keynote speakers. 
The WTA entered a partnership with TREAD (Trails, Recreation, Education, Advocacy,
Development) and Dharma Maps to deploy the new TREAD Map App pilot program that
combines a consumer-facing location-based app with robust, real-time trail and
recreational data, updates, and advisories this spring and summer. The program is
operational in the Trails and Lakes region of Central Washington (Kittitas, Grant, Douglas,
Chelan, and Okanagan counties), where heavy public lands use is expected again this
summer season and is expected to help balance the flow of tourism. 

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COMMISSION AGENDA  Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 3 of 9 
Meeting Date: January 4, 2022 
Travel Publicity Campaign 
WTA is implementing a travel publicity campaign to promote Washington as a unique destination
and create messaging to positively impact travel trade and consumers. Travel publicity activities
The WTA communications team served more than 50 travel media throughout the
quarter. A selection includes but is not limited to: Good Morning America, Conde Naste
Traveler magazine, CBS News, National Geographic (travel guidebook), FVW magazine
(German), Primo magazine (Benelux), The Daily Beast, The Lightning Round pod cast. 
Published or broadcasted coverage resulting from WTA media relations efforts included,
but not limited to  American Way (American airlines in-flight magazine), Outside
magazine, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, 60 Day USA, Love Exploring, Trips
to Discover (top-ten road trips). 
Strategy and Communications Advertising Campaign 
WTA is starting to implement an advertising campaign to help regenerate North American Air
markets to SEA International Airport. Early campaign consumer elements include: 
A partnership with Expedia is underway and will boost the presence of Washington with
consumer travelers already searching for and booking travel. Display ads throughout
Expedia properties drive customers to a custom landing page provides additional
Washington inspiration for seasonally targeted regions of the state. 
Paid social media promoted Facebook and Instagram posts launched in June to drive
travelers to the Explore Washington's Backyard landing pages and encourage downloads
of the campaign's mobile passports. Paid social posts have reached more than 500,000
people and generated over 1.3 million impressions. Since ads launched, there have been
408 new mobile passport downloads (through June 29). 
Investment in development of TREAD Map App as consumer marketing/travel advisory
and planning tool, including technology development, consultation services, and
marketing direct to consumers in air markets. 
Travel Trade Sales and Promotion 
The WTA is implementing travel trade marketing initiatives to promote WA State destinations to
travel agents, tour operators, and travel influencers: 
The WTA promoted the destination at Go West (domestic) and ITB (Berlin, in partnership
with the Port of Seattle), and the Brand USA Global Marketplace (London) The number of
trade show business appointments with tour operators and retail sellers of travel: Go
West: 23, ITB:12, Brand USA Global Marketplace: 14. 
Follow-up emails were made to each appointment participant that included itineraries. 
A lead distribution system has been created for DMOs across the state. Partners can
access notes on each appointment to gain insight on new potential products in their

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Meeting Date: January 4, 2022 
The WTA facilitated a travel trade webinar called Steps to Success. The event educated
DMOs, hoteliers, tour operators and other industry professionals on the importance of
working withing the travel trade industry. A travel trade expert-hosted and a panel
included two inbound tour operators and a hotelier who has found success utilizing travel
Tourism Marketing Support Program 
The Tourism Marketing Support Program was established six years ago to help tourism partners
across Washington State promote their destination or attraction to increase non-resident
traveler visitation and expenditures. Each year the Port provides grants to eligible Washington
State non-profit organizations, chambers of commerce, cities, ports, and destination marketing
organizations for (DMO). Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded and partners must match Port
funding on a two to one formula (for every POS dollar invested, the organization must contribute
fifty cents).  The funds must be used for advertising, publicizing, promoting, or distributing
information to attract visitors to the destination. Priorities to support sustainable tourism and
ethnic events/attractions have been added to the grant program over time.
In 2020 the program was reduced drastically due to pandemic travel restrictions.  This year the
program rebounded. Via an application process, 32 organizations applied, and 23 organizations 
were selected for 2021. Two of the 23 selected organizations chose to cancel, due to COVID
impacts; however, 21 organizations, for a total amount of $193,432, moved forward with their
projects. All the partner organizations, whether they had to cancel or modify their projects, have
continued to express their sincere appreciation during this challenging time.
Following is the list of the 2021 awarded organizations: 
POS Awarded
Organization Name                                      Summary of Proposed Project 

Kittitas County Chamber of                          County-wide social media marketing, targeting out-of-
Commerce                                   state markets, focusing on diversity and recreation.
Creating a destination marketing piece (map & guide) for
Alliance for Pioneer Square              $7,500 
online and for visitors at SEA Airport 
Social media marketing for destination outdoor
Forks Chamber of Commerce          $10,000      activities, Quileute Tribe and Makah Tribe attractions,
and festival event 
Digital marketing campaign including advertising to AR,
MOHAI                           $10,000      CA, CO target markets and social media marketing

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COMMISSION AGENDA  Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 5 of 9 
Meeting Date: January 4, 2022 

Online advertising campaign, including website redesign,
Seattle Architectural Foundation       $10,000      social media, and banner ads. Target markets: NY, San
Francisco, Chicago. 

Film production for media broadcast. Spanish speaking
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau        $10,000       version included. Emphasis on environmental
stewardship, activities, Native American heritage 
Digital marketing and social media campaign. Graphics
and website refresh will highlight minority-owned
City of Renton                          $10,000 
businesses, sample travel itineraries, and more. Target
markets: TX, CA 
Social media marketing campaign, including three media
Visit Walla Walla                        $10,000 
influencers from CA, TX, MO. Focus on BIPOC travelers. 
Create multi-day itineraries to include in the "Experience
Skamania County Chamber of                      Skamania" visitor guide, focused on adventure/nature
Commerce                                   tourism and cruising from POS cruise terminals, for
online, hotels, and mailed distribution 
Eco-adventure itinerary marketing campaign to out-of-
Tacoma Regional Convention &
$10,000      state audiences, social media influencer marketing, and
Visitor Bureau 
geo-location digital marketing. 
Develop website, social media campaign focused on
Global to Local                          $10,000       BIPOC "foodie" community, targeting out-of-state
markets in CA and TX. 
Media familiarization and social media target marketing
Ballard Alliance                         $10,000       campaign. Focus on inclusion of diverse cultural
Marketing advertising and social media campaign, target
City of Westport                        $10,000 
out-of-state fishers from CO, MT, WY 
Marketing strategy includes print and digital advertising,
Visit Bainbridge Island                  $10,000       social media, and website integration updates for target
out-of-state promotional efforts 
Strategic social media, online and print advertising
Savor Central Washington              $8,600 
campaign, targeting several CA markets. 

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COMMISSION AGENDA  Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 6 of 9 
Meeting Date: January 4, 2022 

Target markets: NY, AR, CA, IL, FL for online and social
Jefferson County Chamber of
$8,000       media marketing campaign, including video production,
advertising, and new website landing page 

Website development and online media campaign,
focused on promotion of "foodie" loop extension
Mt. Adams Chamber of
$10,000      through WA wine country, support to native-owned
businesses and highlighting sustainable outdoor
recreation. Market targets: CO, NM, CA, TX 

Develop a visual asset library for social media marketing
Cascade Loop Association              $10,000 
and promotional efforts, targeting key air traffic markets

Create online and print marketing, digital and social
Coupeville Chamber of
$10,000      media campaigns, create website videos and itineraries
for out-of-state travelers. Target markets: CO, AR, CA 

Online advertising and social media marketing campaign,
City of North Bend                     $10,000      highlighting adventure outdoor recreation, art, and
Strategic online, print, radio, TV, and social media
marketing advertising for event promotion to target
Acoustic Sound Wintergrass            $8,000 
audiences from CA, TN, and other out-of-state cities.
Focus on BIPOC outreach and inclusion 

Spotlight SEA Airport Advertising Program 
Since Q4 2017, the Spotlight SEA Airport Advertising Program offers eligible Washington State
non-profit organizations, destination marketing organizations, cities, chambers of commerce,
counties and our neighbor cities of Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park, SeaTac,
and Tukwila an opportunity to advertise, on a quarterly basis, at SEA International Airport to
provide travelers with an awareness of destinations, attractions, activities,  and  events
throughout our state. 
In the second quarter of 2020, 27 of the total 36 awarded organizations had to cancel, due to
COVID-19 impacts on small businesses and travel restrictions. A total of 18 awarded organizations
were able to advertise in Q2-Q4 2020. Via an application process, a total of 32 organizations were
selected for 2021. In comparison, a total of 48 organizations were selected for 2019, and with a
total of 27 organizations already selected for Q1-Q2 2022, the increasing momentum for tourism
recovery for next year is already palpable. 

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COMMISSION AGENDA  Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 7 of 9 
Meeting Date: January 4, 2022 
International Tourism Development's efforts support both SEA and our cruise terminals as
gateways to Seattle and Washington state. Key market targets are countries with direct air
service into SEA and countries with high levels of cruising enthusiasts. We currently maintain
three in-market offices in the United Kingdom/Ireland, Germany/Mainland Europe, and
Australia/New Zealand with a focus on informing and educating the travel trade and media on
the benefits of cruising from Seattle to Alaska, the wide range of pre/post cruise tourism
opportunities in Seattle and Washington state, and the advantages of SEA as the preferred
gateway for the Pacific Northwest, Western USA, and Western Canada. 
Citizens of the United Kingdom are big on their holidays, viewing them as essential. 
UK is the USA's biggest overseas market representing 8% of all inbound travel - 4.87M in
The UK is Seattle's largest long-haul market with direct air service via American Airlines,
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Aer Lingus. 
2M Brits cruised in 2019 and via our CLIA UK relationship, we target 8,000 cruise
Testament to the Port's successful Cruise & Stay UK marketing, we received 2021 WAVES
nomination as "highly recommended destination" by a jury of peers  media/trade
Cruising is the quintessential modern Australian holiday with 35+M Australians cruising
in 2019. 
Australia leads the established cruise markets in penetration rates - one in 17 Australians
Australian holidays (19-21 days) provide plenty of time to explore the Pacific Northwest 
USA has emerged a top-booked international destination with borders opening in
Australian savings (which have traditionally averaged 9.48% over the past 60 years)
reached an all-time high of 23.6% in 2021 - meaning Australians have the cash to travel
big in 2022 and beyond. 
Germany is the largest and wealthiest source market in Continental Europe. 
# 3 in the world for tourism expenditures - USD $93.2B. Total population of "only" 83M
with 2M Germans traveling to the USA pre-pandemic. 
Direct air service into SEA via Lufthansa and Condor (Alaskan Airlines partner) plus easy
connections via Delta and Icelandair. 
2.4M German cruise passengers in 2019. 

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COMMISSION AGENDA  Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 8 of 9 
Meeting Date: January 4, 2022 
Rapidly growing source market for cruise vacations. 
Extremely strong partnership in Germany between Port and NCL for trainings and
Germans as a rule have 30 days of paid vacation and enjoy 12 public holidays. 
Internationally, we collaborate with airlines, cruise Lines, Brand USA, U. S. Travel Association, U.S.
Commercial Service, Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) and Visit USA Committees. Locally,
we partner with Washington Tourism Alliance, Visit Seattle, Washington Wine Commission,
statewide tourism offices, hotels, and attractions. 
In 2019, the Port welcomed 1.2M cruise passengers - 10% were international visitors. Visit Seattle
reports the city received 712,500 overseas visitors in 2019 (2,475,200 including Mexico and
Canada) with $525,500,000 introduced into our local economy. 
With Covid-19 restricting international travel, Tourism has initiated inspirational and educational
programs to provide our global travel industry audience with compelling content to keep Seattle
and Washington state top-of-mind. Our representatives have provided the trade with tools
(itineraries, webinars, training, newsletters, etc.) for tourism development when travel opens 
again. The opening rates for our newsletter and press release communications have received an
average 26% opening rate (industry average is 12-13%) and have generated $2,347,324 earned
advertising equivalency. 
The post-pandemic marketplace will be very competitive. Destinations that are not working with
the proper B2B tour development channels will lose out. 
Destination/Hotel/Attraction " 
Receptive Tour Operator (RTO) " 
Tour Operator " Travel Agent " Consumer 
To support SEA international flights and cruise business, Tourism focuses on designing new
itineraries that reflect emerging travel trends and works with Receptive Tour Operators to provide
their global networks with ready-to-book holidays. 
In 2021, Tourism leveraged key RTO relationships to generate awareness and interest in
Washington tourism. Through ATI, ATP, Bonotel, InquisiTours, RMHT, and Travalco, our itineraries
are shared in 70 different countries to 7,000 travel trade businesses worldwide. 
Tourism Development 2022 Priorities 
For 2022, the Tourism program will continue to provide inspirational and educational
communications to our media and travel trade partners. Flexibility is important. Our

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COMMISSION AGENDA  Briefing Item No. 11a                                 Page 9 of 9 
Meeting Date: January 4, 2022 
representatives will monitor the Covid situation to react to changes and close contact will be
maintained with RTO partners to create bookable itineraries. 
Marketing strategies and tactics will include sponsorship and participation in familiarization tours,
international trade shows, sales missions, marketing campaigns with cruise lines and tour
operators, and other industry events. 
We will continue to investigate how to best utilize and leverage resources for international
marketing via partner organizations  Washington Tourism Alliance, Visit Seattle and Destination
Management Organizations throughout Washington and the Pacific Northwest. 
Tourism Development will also work with the WTA and other partners to organize a conference
on sustainable and responsible travel during the Fall of 2022.
(1)   Presentation slides 
February 23, 2021  Washington Tourism Alliance briefing to Port Commissioners 
December 15, 2020  Commissioners authorized the Executive Director to approve execution
of all contract agreements for the 2021 Tourism Marketing Support Program 
July 28, 2020  The Commission authorized the Executive Director to execute a $1.5 million
joint marketing agreement with Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) to promote tourism

Template revised September 22, 2016.

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