With King County hitting a 70% vaccination rate and the mask mandate ending on June 29, tourists are expected to come bustling back to Seattle in droves this summer, helping speed recovery efforts.
Last year, the city saw a very steep decline in hotel occupancy rates down to only 19% from the typical 89% seen in years past during the summer travel season. As a whole, the travel and hospitality industry took a significant hit during the pandemic. But as Seattle has emerged as one of the top cities in vaccination progress and the first city to hit a 70% vaccination rate, there is hope the city will be a top draw for eager travelers.
In a recent Seattle Times article, Tom Norwalk, CEO and President of Visit Seattle, observed “A thriving tourism scene is the most visible proof of a city’s recovery. Take a look around. A bustling waterfront, lively markets, restaurants and museums — Seattle’s recovery is happening. . . .But the magic of travel isn’t quantified or defined by the number of miles traveled. And in fact, Seattle 2021 is worth rediscovering.”