ms Amsterdam in SeattleThe Port of Seattle has announced recipients of 18 grants to support tourism across Washington state, for the second year in a row. The grants will fund $150,000 in projects, from websites and advertising to booths at travel trade shows. The grants must be matched by the organization and used for publicizing and attracting visitors to their destinations. This year, grant recipients are committing nearly $100,000 worth of matching funds.

“Increasing the number of tourists to Washington means more jobs for our region, so the Port of Seattle is partnering with communities to help grow tourism,” said Commissioner John Creighton. “More people tasting wine in Walla Walla or beer in Bellingham, hiking on Mount Rainier or kayaking in the San Juan Islands, or visiting a Boeing plant or the historic Hanford B reactor is good for jobs everywhere in Washington.”

With its grant, the Cascade Loop will use their funds to support efforts to launch and promote an international marketing campaign specifically marketing to potential British travelers interested in outdoor adventures and the North Cascades National Park.

“The Port of Seattle’s tourism marketing support allows us to expand the number of international travelers and increase visitation to north, central and eastern Washington,” said Annette Pitts, executive director of the Cascade Loop Association. “We are very appreciative of their collaborative approach to aiding destination marketing organizations with limited funding.”

The Port of Seattle has been encouraging tourists to extend their visits to the region by highlighting places across the state that offer interesting experiences. One goal is to entice some of the nearly one million annual Alaskan cruise passengers to “cruise and stay,” adding a few days on either end of their cruise to sight see in Washington.

2017 Marketing Support Program Recipients include the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area, Fort Worden Public Development Agency, Greater Seattle Business Association, Port of Bellingham, Port of Edmonds, Puget Sound Attractions Council, Skamania County Chamber of Commerce, Seattle International Film Festival, Yakima Valley Tourism, and others.