When you visit destinations like Port Townsend, you’re doing more than just having a great time. You’re doing your part to contribute to the economy of the region!

May 8-13, 2012 is National Tourism Week, and it is a good opportunity to review just how important tourism is in the big picture of economic development. So as you read the information below, you can not only feel good about having a great time in Port Townsend for its own sake – but also because you’re helping other.

Did you know that in Washington state…

  • According to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) produced, tourism ranks fourth as an industry, following software, aerospace and agriculture and food.
  • Tourism supports nearly 150,900 jobs and $4.5 billion in earnings.
  • In six Washington counties, travel-related jobs are more than 10 percent of total employment.
  • Total direct visitor spending in Washington State in 2011 was $16.4 billion.
  • Tourism contributed $1.8 billion in local and state tax revenue in 2011.
  • Rural areas are more dependent on tourism: Travel spending generates 15 percent of local sales tax and hotel/motel taxes in 13 rural counties.
  • Data Source: Washington Tourism Alliance/Dean Runyan Associates.