Travel Tacoma + Pierce County Announces Record-Breaking Tourism Economic Impact Data
Travel spending reached $1.09 billion in Pierce County in 2015, an annual increase of 3.9 percent, breaking the record set in 2014. Visitor spending marked its first billion-dollar year, reaching $1.01 billion, an annual increase of 6.3 percent. Non-transportation visitor spending rose 8.2 percent in 2015.
In total, Pierce County welcomed 5,942,000 visitors in 2015, a 7.0 percent increase from the previous year, according to the annual Pierce County Travel Impacts report compiled by Dean Runyan Associates. That includes 3,008,000 overnight visitors, an increase of 2.1 percent from 2014. Employment resulting from tourism was at its highest level since 2000, with the industry supporting 11,080 local jobs, up 1.6 percent from 2014.
“It was the perfect storm for Pierce County tourism in 2015,” said Bennish Brown, President + CEO of Travel Tacoma + Pierce County. “Six years of continual growth in tourism coincided with the U.S. Open golf championship being held in the University Place area, which slingshot us into the national spotlight. The tourism community rallied, and the county reaped the rewards.”
Within Pierce County, 45.4 percent of travel spending took place in Tacoma, which netted $494.4 million from tourism. The report detailed economic impact for nine separate break-out areas:
· DuPont: $7.2 million in travel spending (0.7 percent of total Pierce County travel spending)
· Fife: $76.1 million (7.0 percent of total)
· Gig Harbor: $46.0 million (4.2 percent of total)
· Lakewood: $93.2 million (8.5 percent of total)
· Mount Rainier: $118.0 million (10.8 percent of total)
· Puyallup: $104.3 million (9.6 percent of total)
· Sumner: $32.4 million (3.0 percent of total)
· Tacoma: $494.4 million (45.4 percent of total)
· All other: $118.6 million (10.9 percent of total)
· County total: $1,090.2 million
“The link between the tourism industry and economic prosperity in the region is undeniable,” Brown said. “Our world-class arts scene, the accessibility of Mt. Rainier and our quality venues like the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center bring visitors and meetings in, but without continually marketing Pierce County’s assets, you wouldn’t see this kind of economic impact.”