Downtown Seattle Tourism Improves, Office Occupancy Not So Much | Washington

ByShannon J. Cortes

Aug 22, 2022

(The Center Square) — The Downtown Seattle Association’s latest recovery data report finds tourism rates are near pre-pandemic levels. However, workers are still not returning to their offices.

The data comes from last month’s statistics. July saw over 2.9 million visitors to the city centre. The DSA noted that this is the highest monthly visitor total since the start of the pandemic.

The daily statistics recorded by DSA further proved that the region is on track to fully recover its pre-pandemic tourism rates. More than 280,000 average daily visitors visited downtown during the week of July 18. It is also the highest level since the start of the pandemic.

Total pedestrian traffic in downtown Seattle in July was also at its highest level since the start of the pandemic, with more than 434,000 tourists, residents and office workers counted.

As for hotel revenues presented by the DSA report, they not only surpassed pandemic levels, but they reached unprecedented revenue levels. Recorded hotel revenue in downtown Seattle was $4.3 million on Saturday, July 16 alone.

“It is the third highest [hotel] revenue day in the city’s history,” the report said.

As tourists flock more downtown, office workers in Seattle had only returned to their offices at nearly 40% of 2019 totals as of July. Although the numbers are below 50%, June and July saw the highest number of office workers returning to downtown since the pandemic began.

James Sido, director of media relations at DSA, told The Center Square in an email that the number of office workers returning to downtown Seattle is on par with downtown Portland. and higher than both downtown San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The upward trend in tourism may continue to increase in August. Last weekend, Emerald City Comic Con was held at the Washington State Convention Center downtown. Sido estimates that the convention saw more than 70,000 people attend.

“Combining this weekend with the Day In Day Out festival at the Seattle Center, Mariners homestands, a Storm playoff race, cruise season and more, it wouldn’t be surprising if our August visitor numbers were so strong. only in July,” Sido said.

The downtown area typically experiences a drop in tourism as the cold, wet weather arrives during the fall season. However, Sido thinks the area could see foot traffic continue well into the fall depending on a Seattle Mariners postseason run that hasn’t happened since 2002.