Report shows tourism is recovering in Spokane area

SPOKANE, Wash. — A new report shows tourism is recovering in the Lilac City.

The report, conducted by Tourism Economics for Visit Spokane, shows 9.5 million tourists spent nearly $1.2 billion in Spokane County last year.

That visitor spending created an economic impact of$1.9 billion. As a result, around 16,000 people kept their jobs and $198 million was created in state and local tax revenues last year.

“COVID decimated the tourism and hospitality industries in 2020, so to see visitors return to Spokane County in 2021 is a relief,” Visit Spokane President & CEO Meg Winchester said.

Tourists that come to Spokane spend their money on things like accommodations, food and drink, recreation, retail shopping, local transportation and air travel. Visitor spending expanded by around 40 percent and was able to recover around 87 percent of tourist levels in 2019.

Of the $1.2 billion spent by tourists, $360 million was spent on food and drink. $290 million was spent on lodging and housing, which included second homes. Another $290 million was spent on retail. Fifteen percent of the $1.2 billion was spent on travel, and spending registered nine percent of each dollar from a visitor.

About $958 was provided in tax relief for each household in Spokane.

“There’s nowhere to go but up, and we certainly look to see an even bigger increase in visitation and spending in Spokane County in 2022,” Winchester said.

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