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Tourism and Conference Centers
The Seattle-King County area attracts more than 8.8 million overnight visitors annually who spend $6.9 billion and contribute more than $416 million in state and local tax revenues. Direct visitor spending supports 50,000 jobs in the Seattle region. The Port of Seattle has seen cruise ship growth in recent years, with an estimated 186 sailings and 429,413 passengers expected in 2011.
Major venues for conferences, conventions and special events include the Washington State Convention and Conference Center, a wide variety of local hotels, the Bell Harbor International Conference Center, Qwest Field Events Center, Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue and the Seattle Center (site of the 1962 World’s Fair).
For visitor information contact: Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau at (866) 732-2695 or (206) 461-5840 or www.visitseattle.org. The Seattle Visitor Center and Concierge Services, located in the Convention Center, offers Seattle information, attraction tickets and tour bookings.
Hotels There are 10,708 hotel rooms in downtown Seattle and more than 34,459 hotel rooms in the Seattle/King County area. Call (866) 285- 2535 or www.seattlesupersaver.com for information or reservations at over 100 Seattle area hotels (a free hotel reservation service operated by Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau).
Cuisine in the Seattle area is famous for fresh seafood, local farm produce and other Northwest specialties. A wide variety of ethnic restaurants are among the more than 9,000 restaurants in Greater Seattle, www.seattle.citysearch.com.
Among the most popular urban attractions are the Seattle Center and the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, the Hiram Chittenden Locks, Woodland Park Zoo, Tillicum Indian Village, Seattle Aquarium, waterfront, lakeside and sound beaches, Pioneer Square, International District, and local wineries and breweries. Outdoor activities include boating, fishing, golf, water sports, hiking, biking, mountain climbing and skiing. Seattle is situated on the shores of Lake Washington, Lake Union and Puget Sound, flanked by two major mountain ranges (Olympics and Cascades), with Mount Rainier in full view and remote wilderness less than an hour away. Nearby are the San Juan Islands, Pacific Ocean beaches and major rivers. For more information see www.visitseattle.org.
Arts, Culture and Festivals
Major arts organizations includes the Seattle Symphony (performing in Benaroya Hall), Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet (performing in Marion Oliver McCaw Hall), numerous art galleries, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Experience Music Project rock and roll museum, the Seattle Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the Seattle waterfront. Theater arts in Seattle include with 80 companies, 25 of which are professional. Other festival celebrations include SEAFAIR, Northwest Folklife, Seattle International Film Festival, Bumbershoot Arts Festival, the Bite of Seattle food festival and Festál Cultural Festivals at Seattle Center. Seattle hosts large-scale musical concerts and has gained international attention as the place of origin of trend-setting rock, pop and jazz groups. Seattle’s Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a comprehensive, searchable calendar of events on its web site for convenient trip planning at www.visitseattle.org.
Seattle is home to Mariners baseball (MLB), Seahawks football (NFL), Seattle Storm women’s basketball (WNBA Champions in 2010 & 2004) and Seattle Sounders FC (MLS, 2009 U.S. Open Cup Champions).
Economic Impact of Travel
Seattle-King County and Washington State, 2007
Source: Dean Runyan Associates http://www.deanrunyan.com/impactsWA.html
*Includes Seattle-King County