Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Group says tourism brought $484.5M to Bellevue in 2011

by August 7th, 2012

At a study session prior to last night’s Bellevue City Council council meeting, Visit Bellevue Washington presented findings detailing that 1,253,000 overnight and day-trip visitors brought more than $484 million in spending to the growing Eastside community last year, plus $44 million in local and state taxes revenues, and directly supported another $263.7 million in salaries from 7,634 tourism-related jobs.

Sharon Linton, the Marketing and Communications Manager of Visit Bellevue Washington in a briefing to Mayor Conrad Lee and the Bellevue City Council, explained that the data was developed using a model formulated by Destination Analysts, who did the initial 2010 study of leisure market travel impacts on the city.

Direct visitor spending occurred at hotels, restaurants and attractions, and with retailers, transportation services and other businesses.

The analysis showed that in 2011 in Bellevue, estimated total direct spending by almost 600,000 hotel visitors staying for a total of 1.5 million nights equalled $369.3 million. A second category was the “visiting friends and relatives” segment of more than 255,000 people who spent 1.1 million cumulative days in the city and directly spent $70.8 million there. The last category was just more than 400,000 leisure-only day-trippers who spent almost 900,000 visitor days in the city and directly spent $44.5 million.

The report also says hotel room occupancy has grown from 62 percent in 2010 to 69.7 percent in 2011 and 71.2 percent so far in 2012, with average daily rate and revenue per available room on a steady rise too from 2010 to the present.

According to its web site, Visit Bellevue Washington is the city’s so-called “destination marketing organization,” charged with promoting it as a prime spot for leisure travel and conventions of businesses and organizations. VBW is funded through the city’s hotel/motel tax.

VBW was launched in June, 2011. A VBW video posted to YouTube in the last month accents, without any spoken words, the city’s urban attractions and access to outdoor recreation.

RELATED: VBW’s blog.

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