Latest News


Tourism Brings Jobs, Tax Benefits

Tourism Brings Jobs, Tax Benefits to All Washingtonians

OLYMPIA – In 2007, visitors to Washington spent a record $14.8 billion in the state, according to a report released by the Washington Tourism Office and the Dept. of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED).

Travel and tourism is one of the most important industries in Washington. Spending by visitors to the state – on lodging, food services, recreation, transportation and retail – supports jobs for Washingtonians and contributes tax revenue for state and local governments.
“Washington has so much to offer every type of traveler. Whether you want to explore our cities, tour our wineries, learn about our history or connect with nature, every traveler can find something unique about Washington that makes it their perfect destination,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “I encourage all travelers to come experience Washington in 2008.”
Gov. Gregoire in 2007 requested, and signed into law, historic legislation that doubled state funding for tourism promotion through a public-private partnership and created a state Tourism Commission to develop a long-term strategic tourism plan.
“Clearly, tourism is economic development,” said Juli Wilkerson, Director of CTED. “People want to come to visit Washington and, when they get here, they spend money in local communities and help drive the economy of our state.”
Noted in the report:
  • With a nearly $3 billion annual payroll, travel ranks third among export-oriented industries in Washington. Aerospace ranks number one and software comes in at number two.
  • The Washington travel industry generates tax benefits for Washingtonians. Travel spending accounted for nearly $975 million in local and state taxes in 2007 and visitors to the state generated $250 of tax revenue for each Washington family.
  • The Washington travel industry generates jobs. 149,800 jobs were directly generated by travel spending last year, representing approximately 3.8 percent of all jobs in Washington
  • The performance of the overall Washington travel industry in 2007 exceeded the U.S. travel industry. Visitor spending reached $14.8 billion, a 3.6 percent increase over the previous year. Travel spending in Washington has increased by 7.4 percent annually since 2002.
  • The Washington travel industry benefits all of Washington. Travel spending generates more than 15 percent of local sales and lodging taxes in fourteen of Washington's non-urban counties; in 13 non-urban counties, travel-generated employment accounts for over 6 percent of the total workforce.

This Holiday Shop Port Orchard First

This Holiday, Shop Port Orchard First…Santa Does!
The greater Port Orchard community offers many holiday shopping opportunities.With a little creativity, sleuthing and imagination--
you can find many unique stores and unique gift ideas for
on your list!


Port Orchard WA – November 10, 2008. Shopping and buying local keeps money circulating in our own community. On average, of every dollar spent locally, approximately 68 cents stays in the community. Shopping locally, puts more money into the hands of local businesses, who in turn pay their employees, who in turn spend money locally. Local business can create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.  Shopping local means less packaging, saves gasoline, lessens traffic and air pollution. Buying local creates a smaller carbon footprint. Many local businesses buy from other local businesses.  And the sales tax stays in the city or in the county, supporting our roads, law enforcement, infrastructure etc. More of your taxes are reinvested in your community.   Local business owners usually live in our community and are committed to investing in the future of the Port Orchard community. Local business owners and those who work at and manage local businesses are your friends and neighbors, support them and they will support you!   Local businesses donate to charities and often the owners or employees are volunteers within our community.But what can you buy for all of those on your list this Holiday season?  How about….antiques, collectibles and quirky gifts at one of six great antique and vintage stores, uptown and downtown. Books, books and books at one of four new and used bookstores.  Tools, plants, gardening equipment at six hardware and farm/garden supply stores.  Everything pets, including grooming, at one of seven pet stores and groomers. Know a golfer--greens fees, equipment or lessons from four local golf courses.Everyone appreciates a gift certificates for dinner out, buy one at one of over 40 local restaurants!  Jewelry from five local jewelry stores. Lessons or accessories for music, dance, karate, gymnastics at one of eight different local businesses.  How about a gift certificate for pedicure, manicure or hair styling at one of 28 salons & barber shops?  Craft & Hobby supplies are available at six different fabric stores and craft or hobby shops.  One of a kind gifts, knickknacks & collectibles at least six gift and drug stores, downtown and uptown . Spa services at one of two local day spas.  A gift certificate for a massage is always popular, the Port Orchard community has over twelve businesses offering licensed massage therapy.How about tickets to one of two movie theatres or from our local community theatre?  Clothing is always popular and available at least five stores including a baby boutique in downtown Port Orchard.  Sporting goods are available at four locations in South Kitsap.  A gift certificate for a family portrait at one of at least ten local photographers. Buy art at one of four galleries or frame art and photos at our local framing shop. Or a great bottle of wine or specialty beer at the local wine shop.  And if you have been really good this year-- Santa might bring a boat or car from one of seven auto and boat sales businesses!So this Holiday season, bring your Santa to shop locally in the Port Orchard community.  For more information go online to or contact the Port Orchard Chamber at 360-876-3505.