Friday, March 15, 2013

Tourism in Washington slowly regaining ground

Guemes Island tide flats
Back in 2010, AOL Travel listed Guemes Island as one of the top top-secret beaches in the nation. According to this New York Times story, that was also the year Washington attracted 30 percent more international tourists than in 2009, and annual visitor spending increased 7.4 percent.

Now, we're not saying that those impressive figures were due to the Guemes Island secret getting out, but we're not ruling it out either.

All kidding aside, tourism in our state hasn't done as well as in good old 2010, and that may have something to do with the fact that in the summer of 2011, due to budget cuts, Washington became the only state in the nation to close the doors of its tourism office.

However, the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal reported yesterday that we did better last year than in 2011. According to figures released by the Washington Tourism Alliance, which held its summit earlier this week in Olympia, Washington's tourism growth was 2.1 percent. Our state received $16.9 billion in overnight visitor tourism spending, which is 4.4 percent more than the previous year.

Leavenworth (photo by Dmmaus via
Wikimedia Commons)
This past January, the Huffington Post included Leavenworth in its top 20 great small towns for a weekend. Not that it's a secret, mind you, but more news about lederhosen and beer steins can't hurt. 

Read this story in Spanish.