Seattle continues to be a top tourism destination, according to AAA, and the number of estimated visitors over the past six years may back that up.
Earlier this year, AAA released what it expected to be its top 10 summer travel destinations. Seattle was seventh on the list and one of just two cities in the lower 48.
The top destinations were based on AAA bookings for trips June 1 through Aug. 15. Of the top trends, Alaskan cruises are a top choice for travel, with Vancouver, Seattle, and Anchorage topping the list for departure.
The number of people visiting Seattle and King County has grown at a rate of more than 2% since 2013, according to data from Visit Seattle, a nonprofit marketing organization for the city and broader King County. In 2013, the area hosted 35.8 million visitors. That steadily grew to 40.9 million in 2018, according to the data.
In 2018, visitors spent approximately $7.9 billion.
Sea-Tac was ranked the eighth busiest U.S. airport last year, serving 49.8 million passengers – 44.4 million domestic and 5.4 million international. It ranked 31st in the world based on total passengers.
As far as this year’s cruises go, the Port of Seattle estimates 1.2 million cruise passengers this year, bringing in a projected $4.2 million in economic activity.
Tourism is increasing outside Seattle as well. Travel Tacoma + Pierce County reports overnight visitors increased by 2.5% last year. Tourism spending reached $1.3 billion overall.