We're getting out more and planning more in Yakima and Washington State after a long winter and a long COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism is a big part of the state and local economy and Yakima tourism officials say they look forward to a busy tourism season in the Yakima Valley and in the State of Washington. According to Economic Impacts of Visitors in Washington State visitations to the state saw a 19.7 % increase in 2021 over 2020 indicating big growth but still just 87% of 2019 levels.

Small increases on the state side show tourism is slowly coming back

State officials say visitor expenditures increased 36% to $17.7 billion, just 81% of 2019. Statewide tourism supports 205,000 jobs. The industry also helps with State and local tax revenue increasing 27.6% percent to $2.4 billion in 2021, offsetting the average state household tax burden by $669 per year.

The increases are welcomed in Yakima

But things were a little different in Yakima.
John Cooper, President and CEO of Yakima Valley Tourism says;
Visitor volume in 2021 increased 21% over 2020 to 2.3 million, returning to 90% of 2019 levels. Visitor expenditures grew 39.6% to $342 million, 98.5% of 2019 spending.
Tourism supported 4,670 direct and induced jobs, increasing 13% over 2020 and just 3.8% below 2019 job levels. State and local tax revenues increased 31% to $33.6 million, offsetting the average Yakima County household tax burden by $401 per year.
“The past two years have been exceptionally hard on the tourism and hospitality sectors,” says John Cooper, President & CEO of Yakima Valley Tourism. “It’s encouraging to see our local tourism economy and jobs recovering and moving forward in 2022.”

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