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Port Announces 2021 Tourism Grant Recipients

Equitable economic recovery targeted to assist tourism statewide is aimed at communities hit hard by COVID impacts
March 3, 2021

The Port of Seattle announced its sixth annual Tourism Marketing Support Program recipients. This year the program provides $200,000 in matching dollars to 23 local communities and non-profit organizations across the state of Washington, with a goal of spending $50,000 of those funds to address equity, diversity, and inclusion.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Port of Seattle has been laser-focused on using our resources to be a springboard for recovery for our region. No industry has been devasted more than hospitality and tourism, which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout our state,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “By providing these tourism grants, the Port is committed to helping communities, and their residents get back on their feet.”

As the Port of Seattle continues to lead on equitable economic recovery for our region and state, there is an awareness that tourism has been hit hard due to the Covid-19 crisis and that these efforts will go a long way to help these communities recover. Before the pandemic, tourism was recognized as the 4th largest economic sector for our state.  Estimates for job losses in the industry right now are over 100,000 for the state.

Global to Local thanks the Port of Seattle for choosing our organization for the incredible opportunity to help market our BIPOC small businesses and eight different world cuisines through Spice Bridge, our food hall,” said AJ McClure, CEO of Global to Local. “We look forward to spreading the word of our efforts throughout our communities and look forward to serving these wonderful foods to people throughout the region and for visitors coming to Washington.”

Preliminary figures for 2021 show an approximate spend of $200,000, with a projected minimum match of $100,000.  From 2016 to 2020, the Tourism Support Program has funded 99 projects across Washington, contributing $719,600 with $638,800750 in organization matches. In addition to the Tourism Support Program, The Port of Seattle will collaborate with the Washington Tourism Alliance by contributing an additional $1.5 million to assist in tourism industry recovery in 2021.

Visit us at the Port's Tourism Marketing Support Program for more information about other Port tourism-related activities.

MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry

MOHAI will develop a powerful digital online marketing campaign to impact important air markets. The plan includes diversity by promoting the Salish Sea tribal exhibit.

Visit Walla Walla

Visit Walla Walla will host BIPOC travel influencers to experience the community and communicate to their travel readers about Walla Walla as a great destination for people of color.

Ballard Alliance

The Ballard Alliance plans to reach minority markets with travel bloggers and influencers that highlight cultural culinary features with a unique cultural food experience in Ballard.

Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce

Mt. Adams will conduct an online marketing campaign that includes eco/sustainable and promoting the native/indigenous cultural/fishing/food aspect on the Columbia River.

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

The bureau plans to create videos that will include marketing to Spanish-speaking potential travelers and English-speaking markets.  

Global to Local

Global has initiated a new food hall with food incubator opportunities featuring eight rotating vendors provide international cuisines, including Afghan, Argentinian, Cambodian/Khmer, Congolese, Ethiopian, Filipino, Somali, Tanzanian. Plans are to market for the minority-owned small businesses via an online social media campaign.

Wintergrass Music Festival

Wintergrass will use a diversity of advertising tools (print publications, online digital ads, radio promotions) to impact targeted markets that attend bluegrass music events. They will be intentional in focusing on the diversity of their performers.

Washington State Geocaching 

Will advertise in targeted magazine publications to promote the new Geotour and caches in South King County urban and rural areas.

Visit Bainbridge Island

The organization will create a shared digital platform inclusive of professional images and videos to promote Bainbridge Island attractions to out-of-state visitors.

Forks Chamber of Commerce 

Through social media marketing informing potential air travelers about the unique aspects of the Forks area. The campaigns will include highlights of the Forever Twilight in Forks festival and the Quileute and Makah Tribe attractions on the Olympic Peninsula.

Seattle Architecture Foundation 

The project's goal is to drive out-of-state tourism traffic to the foundation’s website as a result of making the site more appealing to the potential traveler. In addition to making the site more visitor-friendly, a targeted online advertising campaign will be conducted.


Seafair will specifically market and promote their second annual fishing derby scheduled for late September 2021. The event's marketing to non-residents potential fishers will also promote and educate the value of the Puget Sound ecosystem and Chinook Salmon preservation. The project's goal is to drive out-of-state tourism traffic to the foundation’s website as a result of making the site more appealing dynamic to the potential traveler. In addition to making the site more visitor-friendly, a targeted online advertising campaign will be conducted.

City of North Bend

North Bend’s tourism website is undergoing an update. The grant will specifically go to market outdoor recreation tourism, public lands, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing via a social media campaign impacting non-residents.

Travel Tacoma

Travel Tacoma will develop an outdoor/eco/adventure activity itinerary unique to Pierce County and then work with BIPOC social media influencer(s) to host a fam tour for the influencer and their family to experience the itinerary and activities. Photos and videos will be produced and used for influencers and made available to Travel Tacoma for use.

Savor Central Washington

Travel In collaboration with tourism organizations in North Central Washington, Savor Central will target wine and lifestyle travelers outside of Washington with editorial content presented in select publications by hosting specific travel writers and obtaining articles focusing on the area's spectacular landscapes, natural history, agriculture, and the growing wine industry.

City of Westport

Travel Westport will conduct a marketing campaign targeting persons in Western states with a propensity for fishing.  The effort will focus on social media designs, video, and blogging.

Coupeville Chamber of Commerce

Coupeville will create online digital and social media campaigns inclusive of videos for Whidbey Island as well as using the USA Today National Parks magazine. Part of the campaign will focus on offseason fall activities and the area's outdoor recreational opportunities.

Chamber of Jefferson County

The Chamber of Jefferson County will develop videos showcasing Port Townsend, its indigenous history, hiking trails, and adventure travel experiences. They will then utilize online marketing efforts and social media to impact specific air travel markets, including New York, California, Arizona, Illinois, and Florida.

Skamania County Chamber of Commerce

Skamania’s plans include developing unique multi-day visitor itineraries featuring adventure/nature tourism and the Native American history of the region for the organization's “Experience Skamania” travel website.  Promotion of the itineraries will include online and print publication advertising.

Kittitas Chamber of Commerce

Kittitas will conduct the first “Central Washington Outdoor for All Familiarization Tour” to focus on recreation and the area's diverse history. The “fam” tour will target travel influencers whose articles will impact potential visitors whose interest in mountain biking, hiking, fishing, birdwatching, river-rafting, horseback riding, and snow activities is strong.

Cascade Loop Association

Cascade Loop will develop a visual asset library depicting responsible recreational travel and the wonderful natural beauty of the Cascade Loop with an emphasis on equitable representation. Social media and online postings will be part of the marketing campaign to generate interest in the region. 

Alliance for Pioneer Square

The Alliance will develop a new Pioneer Square Map and Guide for visitors to Seattle interested in experiencing this unique destination. The guide will be available online and in print. The distribution will include SEA Airport, visitor information racks, and hotels.

The City of Renton

Renton will promote the city and area as a destination for tourism, recreation, and business travelers. The outward marketing campaign will utilize social media and develop a sweepstakes contest to generate interest in the travel website drive views of the campaign website landing page.


Peter McGraw | Media Officer
(206) 787-3446 |

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