King County to begin tourism recovery plan

Sep 10, 2020
Written by wpengine

King County plans to launch an $8 million campaign to rebuild its badly damaged economy due to the coronavirus pandemic of the last several months.

Plans are to launch a fourth-quarter campaign in October with goals of driving more foot traffic to businesses and encouraging more overnight stays by visitors. It will include a toolkit of social media assets, copy for websites and e-blast material that businesses can use for publicity.

The pandemic has been as devastating for tourism as it has for several other industries.

Forty-five conventions booked this year at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle have canceled, for example, according to a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal. It estimated the cancellations for causing $331.1 million in lost economic impact in the region.

A new national report proclaims 2020 “a lost year” in the travel industry.

Impacts include:

  • Air travel is down 45% from January
  • Hotel occupancy is down 30 points from the same time last year. Occupancy was 50% in August.
  • The cruise industry is dead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just extended its no-sail order through the end of this month. Some cruise lines have suspended operations until the end of the year.
  • An estimated 60% of U.S. consumers worry about being infected from flying while 70% expect travel spending will not return to normal for more than a year.

Sources: Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle Times