Why Should Visitors Love Your Town?

The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (SSRTA) is looking for people willing to participate in a phone survey to offer individual preferences and opinions to help guide future advertising campaign efforts. 

The objective is to get gather personal perspectives on ways our community could attract more tourism dollars. To that end, SSRTA would like to ask for your participation in a short (20 minute) phone interview with someone from our strategic planning partner, GreenRubino. The call can be schedule for a time that is convenient to you, and your input would be completely confidential.  

If you are interested in voicing your opinions, please email Ashley Comar, Marketing and Communications Manager at Ashley@SeattleSouthside.com

What is Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority?
The Seattle Southside Visitor Services was reformed into a new organization in 2014 to become the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority. SSRTA is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. DMOs market "places" for visitor-related economic development.

The first DMO was organized more than 100 years ago in Detroit; there are now more than 1,200 around the world. SSRTA was first organized in 1999 by the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce and in 2002 was reconstituted as a multi-city regional program administered by the City of Tukwila operating as a City Department called Seattle Southside Visitor Services (SSVS). 

However, the Cities and local hospitality industry representatives believed SSVS would benefit from another re-formed organizational structure into a local public development authority with a private sector board of directors to be renamed as the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (SSRTA).  

DMOs in very small towns commonly often begin as a part of the local Chamber. As communities grow, there is usually a "division of effort." Typically, DMOs are "community" organizations, while chambers are private, membership organizations. In Southwest King County, both organizations market Seattle Southside as a "place." SSRTA handles visitors, meetings, group tours, movie productions, and sports events. The Chamber assists new residents moving in and relocating or expanding businesses. The Southwest King County Chamber was instrumental in the original early founding of SSVS and supported the reforming of SSVS into SSRTA.

How is the SSRTA funded?
Visitors pay a special 1% room tax when they stay in Seattle Southside hotels, motels, campgrounds or bed and breakfasts. Approximately 50% of this tax is invested in SSRTA to attract and serve more visitors to the region. These tax revenues provide visitor services and facilities; group sales and tourism promotion through a variety of marketing and communications initiatives. 

The SSRTA will continue to contract with the Cities for additional local lodging tax dollars to market the region. Additionally, a $2.00 per room night TPA special assessment will be collected by hoteliers and those funds will be directed to the SSRTA for management. Occupancy taxes and special assessments are typically the way the visitor sector of the economy provides for destination marketing.

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