In a unanimous vote, the King County Council has approved $8 million in CARES funding to support a county-wide tourism recovery campaign. The goal is to drive more business, foot traffic and overnight visitors to the region. The fall campaign will launch in the early October in partnership with the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority.
Tourism is starting to show some signs of recovery. Labor Day weekend saw the reopening of three major Seattle attractions; the Seattle Art Museum, National Nordic Museum and Museum of Flight. The Pan Pacific Seattle reopens this week, and the Hyatt Regency Seattle is scheduled to reopen next month. Five convention cancellations have recently rebooked for future years, in contrast to the 45 convention cancellations at the Washington State Convention Center since the pandemic started, resulting in a loss of more than $333 million in economic impact. Hotel occupancy continues to show slow but consistent growth.
The fall campaign is being created by creative agency Wunderman Thompson. Part of the campaign will be a toolkit so partners and businesses can amplify the messages – the toolkit will include social media assets, copy for websites and eblasts. The core of the campaign will be a robust advertising plan.
Additionally, Visit Seattle recently launched the All Clear King County pledge – an initiative to encourage responsible travel – through strict safety protocols and a way to promote those businesses implementing them. The campaign asks visiting guests to respect safety measures in place – mask wearing, physical distancing, handwashing.