Seattle’s tourism thrives amid downtown’s recovery struggles

Mar 21, 2024
Written by WR Communications

Seattle’s tourism industry is experiencing a surge, with record-breaking numbers of visitors and a thriving downtown scene. Despite these positive indicators, recovery from the pandemic remains sluggish, and the city grapples with a drug crisis.

While foot traffic downtown has increased by 33% from the previous year, it still sits at just over half of pre-pandemic levels. Seattle’s post-pandemic recovery ranks among the slowest of major cities in North America, according to a University of Toronto study.

Construction projects are underway, and the downtown residential population is growing, but overdose deaths have surged by 46% from the previous year, indicating a deepening crisis.

Local visits to downtown and retail jobs have also declined significantly. The office vacancy rate, while below the national average, is at its highest in two decades. City officials are working to address these challenges, including updating return-to-work policies to encourage more city workers back downtown. As the city navigates these complex issues, the path to full recovery remains uncertain.

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