10c. Memo

SEA and Washington Tourism Opportunities in the UK and Europe

AGENDA MEMORANDUM                        Item No.          10c 
ACTION ITEM                            Date of Meeting      March 22, 2022 

DATE:     January 28, 2022 
TO:        Stephen P. Metruck, Executive Director 
FROM:    Dave McFadden, Managing Director, Economic Development 
Patti Denny, Interim Director, Tourism Development 
SUBJECT:  International Tourism Marketing Contracts 

Amount of this request:     $555,000 
Request Commission authorization for the Executive Director to execute contracts to promote
international travel through SEA, Cruise oriented travel options and Washington state's tourism
opportunities in the UK and Europe as a one-year contract for $185,000 with two additional oneyear
options at the rate of $185,000 per year for a total not to exceed $555,000. 

The Port of Seattle's Tourism Development Office takes a global approach to tourism marketing
with a consistent message to promote: 
SEA as the preferred gateway for the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, and Western
Seattle as the cruise gateway of choice for Alaska (45% of current market share) 
Seattle and Washington state as unique and exciting pre/post cruise and fly/drive
International trade shows are an efficient and cost-effective way to meet global leisure buyers
(tour operators and travel agents) and media. To ensure high visibility and to provide statewide
tourism information, we invite Washington destination management organizations (DMOs) to
join us in Port sponsored booths to promote cruise/stay and fly/drive itineraries. Over the years,
we have been joined by Visit Bellingham, Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau, the Cascade Loop
Association, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority, Visit Seattle, Visit Walla Walla and

Template revised January 10, 2019.

COMMISSION AGENDA  Action Item No. 10c                                  Page 2 of 8 
Meeting Date: March 22, 2022 
others for the trade shows, World Travel Market, and ITB-Berlin, and for participation in Go West
Summit familiarization tours. 
Our Port booth at the U.S. Travel Association's annual IPW trade show which brings the world to
America, enables us to network with international buyers from 70 countries that have been
'qualified' to attend by in-market Visit USA Committees. Via scheduled appointments the Port
meets with USA specialists from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, and South
America. Meeting results have provided Tourism with the opportunities to develop a cruise/stay
training webinar for Indian cruise specialists, co-op collateral with Holland America Line to
promote Seattle city stays in Korea, and Washington itineraries for tour operators that work with
Singapore Airlines. 
For in-depth efforts, Tourism focuses on countries which provide direct service into the Seattle-
Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and/or provide exceptional potential for cruise customers.
Another focus would be countries with the highest propensity of foreign independent travelers
(FIT) versus groups. (Much of Washington does not have infrastructure for large groups.) FITs
are more likely to travel to explore local cultures and the great outdoors. They also tend to stay
longer and spend more throughout state  contributing to economic development opportunities
for rural areas and small businesses - not just urban centers. The UK and Germany are strong FIT
Washington state's international marketing efforts were initially instigated to support long-haul
flights from Japan and the UK. The Port established UK representation in 1984. The UK office
provided opportunities such as trade show participation, familiarization tours, magazine
supplements, and tour operator campaigns and the Port invited the Seattle CVB and Washington
State Tourism to join. During this period, Seattle nor the state even participated in U.S. Travel's
IPW due to budget constraints. 
Overtime, budgets improved, and the state established representation in Germany and the
Seattle CVB established offices in Japan, China, and France.  At one time, mid to late 80s, a
partnership was created with the state of Oregon to market the destinations as America's New
West Coast Playground. Communication, teamwork, and common goals made the programs
As Washington's international market share grew; the state's tourism office closed; the Seattle
CVB became Visit Seattle with available marketing dollars; and the Port became more strategic
on conducting Business to Business (B2B) programs in markets with cruise/stay potential. 

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA  Action Item No. 10c                                  Page 3 of 8 
Meeting Date: March 22, 2022 
Today,  the  Port  maintains  full-time  representation  programs  in  the  UK/Ireland,
Germany/Mainland Europe, and Australia/New Zealand and concentrating on B2B programs.
Currently, Visit Seattle's efforts are more Business to Consumer (B2C) driven working with UK
and German reps on a project-by-project basis. These B2B and B2C efforts are complementary.
Our partnerships will be critical as we rebuild, improve, and grow international visitation. 
State of Washington Tourism (SWT) is just launching their new brand into the global arena,
working closely with the Port. Together, SWT and the Port are conducting a 2022 in-person UK
Sales Mission and a virtual German Sales Mission. 
Additional international relationships important to the Port include the partnerships built with
airlines serving Seattle and cruise lines calling Seattle Homeport. With the contacts, the
knowledge, and the experience, the Port will continue to be a leader in international tourism - 
strategically focused on bringing tourism to all corners of Washington via cruise/stay and
fly/drive itinerary development. 
Tourism will take advantage of future international opportunities presented by the U.S. Travel
Association, Brand USA, SWT, DMOs and travel trade partners - cruise lines, airlines, tour
operators, and the media - for such projects as familiarization tours, trade shows, sales missions,
marketing campaigns and press releases, newsletters, and targeted trade campaigns. In 2019,
DMOs provided $250,000 in-kind contributions (lodging, attractions, and experiences) towards
the operation of Port familiarization tours. 
Tourism targets the UK and German as they maintain multiple direct air service options into SEA
and are countries with high levels of cruising enthusiasts.  UK/Ireland is Seattle's largest longhaul
market with direct air service via American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air
Lines and Aer Lingus and one-stop connections via United and Icelandair. 
Where most of SEA's global business is stronger for outbound traffic, the UK is unique with an
inbound/outbound split of 50:50. 
For Germany, there is direct air service into SEA via Lufthansa and Condor (Alaska Airlines
partner) with easy connections via Delta from Amsterdam and Icelandair via Reykjavik.
Historically, Germany has been a strong market for the Pacific Northwest with tour operator
demand for authentic experiences, outdoors activities, and wide-open spaces aligning with our
unique fly and drive opportunities. 
Concentrating on these markets with multiple nonstops, Tourism is supporting the Port's
commitment to international aviation growth - SEA's new International Arrivals Facility.

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA  Action Item No. 10c                                  Page 4 of 8 
Meeting Date: March 22, 2022 
In 2019, the Port welcomed 1.2M cruise passengers - 10% were international visitors. These
international passengers are high value in that with their long-haul travels, they can devote more
time in-destination, conceivably visiting more of Washington state. European visitors spend more
than domestic travelers (according to U.S. Travel Association up to four times as much). Again,
Tourism works B2B to encourage travelers to not only cruise from Seattle but also to stay before
or after their cruise. 
2M Brits cruised in 2019 making it the largest overseas source of cruise passengers outside the
USA. Via our UK Cruise Line Industry Association relationship, we have contact with 8,000 British
cruise influencers. In 2021, POS/Tourism received World of Cruises' UK Waves Award as 'Highly
Recommended Destination' by a jury of peers  key trade and media influencers. 
There were 2.4M German cruise passengers worldwide in 2019. It is a rapidly growing source
market for pre and post cruise vacations and a strong partnership in Germany exists between
POS and NCL (NCL will have four ships sailing from Seattle to Alaska in 2022) for trainings and
As we are progressing through the pandemic, the international travel marketplace is proving to
be even more competitive than it was previously. Traditional company structures have changed
as well as key personnel within those companies. Destinations that are aware and fully utilize
their knowledge of the intricate travel distribution network will be the ones with the competitive
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the German Travel Association (DRV) state
the majority of travelers utilize the services of a tour operator/travel agent. The Port's targeted
B2B focus will allow Seattle and Washington state to be at the forefront of tourism development
as we work with the travel channels  receptive operators, tour operators, travel agents, airlines,
cruise lines  to ensure ready-to-book Pacific Northwest holidays can be actively promoted and
The 'staying relevant despite the pandemic' matched by adaption, innovation, and the ability to
bounce back have been keys to the Port's international success.  It is important to note, that
Tourism provides the content to our international representatives for training programs, press
releases, newsletters, and itineraries.
We know that there has been a change in the profile of visitors to the USA from our key country
markets. Prospective visitors have shifted their preference to itineraries that feature smaller,
rural destinations and outdoor activities and experiences - that is, away from big cities. 
The Port will continue to work through B2B channels to educate the trade so that they can inform
their customers about new places to visit, new times to visit, and local practices. Where last year,
we called an itinerary, the Ultimate Pacific Northwest Road Trip, we might transition to the
Fabulous Green Washington Road Trip. 

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA  Action Item No. 10c                                  Page 5 of 8 
Meeting Date: March 22, 2022 

The purpose of our RFP is to contract with a qualified agency to represent POS in UK/Ireland and
German/Mainland Europe with a B2B focus for sales, marketing, and public relations. 
This contract request is in alignment with Century Agenda Strategy: 
Advance this region as a leading tourism destination and business gateway 
Make SEA the west coast "Gateway of Choice" for international travel 
Double the number of international flights and destinations 
Double the economic value of cruise traffic to Washington state 
Tourism works closely with Cruise Maritime in a very collaborative and cooperative fashion. We
will continue to do so in both international and domestic travel trade arenas. Tourism's focus is
directed toward positively influencing consumers via the travel trade and travel media, while
Cruise Maritime concentrates on impacting the cruise industry and deployment. Even though our
missions are different, they converge. Collaboration is paramount. 
Specific examples of past and continued cooperative efforts include the following: 
Florida SeaTrade Conference 
Participation in Cruise 360, a domestic travel trade show 
Participation in SeaTrade Europe 
China Cruise and Stay Sales Mission with Holland America 
Collaboration on the development of a WeChat platform with a cruise component 
Joint development and implementation of cruise visitor research surveys 
Cruise Connections participation by Tourism 
NCL inaugural activities including hosting NCL staff, travel trade and travel media 
Weekly meetings geared to share information, ensure collaboration and alignment 
Conduct press travel and trade services, including, but not limited to the following: 
(1)     In consultation with the Port of Seattle, develop and supervise a comprehensive travel
trade and media strategic marketing plan for the UK/Ireland, and Mainland Europe. The
plan should include bi-monthly progress reporting to provide high-level market updates,
media and trade familiarization tour information, promotion reviews and valued press

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA  Action Item No. 10c                                  Page 6 of 8 
Meeting Date: March 22, 2022 
(2)     Use UK CLIA Associate Partnership to positively impact CLIA travel influencers/agents to
increase Alaska cruise traffic and pre/post travel in Washington state. Participate in
specific  CLIA-related  programs  that  may  include  UK  CLIA  Annual  Conference,
enhancement of the Port's online training program and use of UK CLIA webinars,
podcasts, newsletters, e-blasts, and other targeted communication activities. 
(3)     Investigate Europe CLIA opportunities including participation in cruise trade shows, media
events, travel agent training programs and webinars. 
(4)     Represent the Port at Visit USA Association meetings as well as other pre-approved
media/travel trade cruise related functions. 
(5)     Develop a schedule for CLIA UK, CLIA Europe, Visit USA Committee and travel trade/media
activities for which you would represent POS. 
(6)     Work with POS to develop themes for new itineraries which could be pitched to receptive
tour operators for packaging and then promoted to travel industry and media. 
(7)     Distribution of newsletters (content to be provided by POS) reflecting itinerary themes
and new destination developments to travel trade and media. Identify metrics that will
be employed to illustrate effectiveness of newsletters. 
(8)     Summarize your trade database with POS (understanding GDPR restrictions) to highlight
your cruise, USA specialists, and leisure travel contacts. Identify a list of 15 key travel trade
targets to consider in 2022 for campaigns including their preferred receptive tour
(9)      Organize travel trade familiarization trips.
(10)    Public relations efforts to include the identification of potential story angles (content to
be provided by POS) for broadcast, print or digital release.
(11)    Summarize your press database with POS (understanding GDPR restrictions) to highlight
your contacts in the world of cruise, aviation, outdoor recreation, and USA specialists.
Identify a top list of 15 media to target for special attention in 2022.
(12)    Organize media familiarization trips.
(13)    Investigate  co-op  multi-platform  marketing  strategies  with  cruise  influencers  with
measurable return on investment. (Separate funding can be considered.) 
(14)    Assist POS with securing appointments for the Go West Summit and IPW, U.S. Travel
Association's premier travel trade event.  Offer the possibility of POS add-on activities
during State of Washington Tourism sales missions, World Travel Market and ITB

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA  Action Item No. 10c                                  Page 7 of 8 
Meeting Date: March 22, 2022 
(15)     POS maintains the UK website, www.SeattleCruiseAlaska.co.uk. This site provides us
with the opportunity to share information on cruising, SEA, itineraries, and Tool Kit, as
well as storing newsletter/press releases. The site is older and technical improvements
could be made. Evaluate current websites and suggest upgrade and improvements
including cost.
(16)    Maintain the excellent UK and European airline and cruise line relationships the Port has
built to secure support for media and trade familiarization tours to promote Alaska
cruising and Pacific Northwest tourism development. Work with key partners to leverage
budget - cruise lines, tour operators and media. 

Alternative 1  Do not propose an agreement for UK/Europe representation 
Cost Implications: $555,000 total for three years 
(1)   Reduces specific budget request by up to $185,000 a year, which could be used for other
types of tourism promotions. 
(1) The Pacific Northwest and cruising from Seattle to Alaska are recognized as bucket-list
holidays in the international marketplace.  Not promoting cruising from Seattle and
educating travel influencers about extending their stays in Seattle and Washington will do
harm to the destination's momentum and ability to increase the number and economic
value of the international cruise travelers. 
(2) It would eliminate the possibility of leveraging the good will and successful promotions
over the past few years and would erode support for the cruise / tour operators that
currently sell the destination. 
(3) It would erode the Port's leading role as a tourism advocate and economic asset for our
(4) Promotions of SEA's new International Arrivals Facilities would be limited. 
This is not the recommended alternative. 

Alternative 2  Request authorization for a UK /Europe agreement for up to three years at an
estimated cost not to exceed $555,000. 
Cost Implications: $555,000 total for three years 
(1) This new agreement will reinforce the Port of Seattle's commitment to increasing the
economic value and numbers of international cruise travelers experiencing Seattle and all
of Washington state. 

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

COMMISSION AGENDA  Action Item No. 10c                                  Page 8 of 8 
Meeting Date: March 22, 2022 
(2) This agreement will maintain and grow the momentum in these markets and provide
funding for targeted promotions, medial familiarization projects and pro-active planning
to grow international cruise visitor stays in Seattle and Washington. 
(1) By not executing an agreement, the Port's leading role as a tourism advocate and
economic asset for our region would be diminished and international cruise traffic from
the UK and Europe would be negatively affected. 
This is the recommended alternative. 
As part of the Port of Seattle's efforts to affirmatively expand its focus to increase WMBE
participation on Port's contracts, staff will be reviewing the firms' affirmative efforts in their plan
to achieve the Port's WMBE aspirational goals. 

The 2019 Economic Development operating budget includes $185,000 for this purpose. The
source of funds is the King County tax levy. 
(1) Presentation 
January 22, 2019  The Commission authorized the Executive Director to execute a UK/Europe
representation one year contract for $185,000 with two additional one-year options at the rate
of $185,000 per year for a total not-to-exceed $555,000.
July 14, 2015  The Commission authorized the Chief Executive Officer to execute a contract for
tourism consulting services in the United Kingdom, for a cost not to exceed $750,000 with
contract duration of one year plus 2 one-year options. 

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

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