Tourism Helps Drive Thurston County’s Economy

Submitted by Experience Olympia & Beyond

Thurston County saw 1.2 million people visit in 2018. That’s enough people to fill the Marcus Pavilion at Saint Martin’s University 381.5 times or CenturyLink Field almost 17 times.

While tourism slowed overall in Washington State, the state and Thurston County both saw incremental increases in visitors. In 2018, the communities of Thurston County saw $10.4 million in local tax revenue.

Tourists visiting the destination fuel the local economy through eating at local restaurants, shopping, staying overnight in hotels and visiting attractions. That direct impact doesn’t just reap the benefits of local tax revenues, but also drove $318 million in direct spending to local small businesses, cultural attractions and more.

Experience Olympia & Beyond, the region’s visitor & convention bureau, promotes the destination to visitors, meeting planners and sports groups to help drive economic impact. Key projects such as the launch of a new self-guided tour of the Yelm-Tenino trail, help to map out how a visitor could enjoy the Olympia region.

“Our job is to make it easy for the visitor to explore the destination by promoting the amazing experiences we have here. From biking to coffee tasting and waterfalls, we are proud of the beautiful region we are lucky to call home,” said Shauna Stewart, CEO of Experience Olympia & Beyond.

Biking Beyond, the new bike trail, is in partnership with the Thurston Regional Planning Council and is the first in a series of signature trails for the destination.

“The beauty of what we do, is that it’s not just for visitors. Destination promotion is for the benefit and well-being of every person in the community. It is an essential community investment to develop opportunities and build quality of life for the people of Thurston County,” said Stewart.

Featured photo credit: jennlvs2smile

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