Bellevue saw a slight increase in tourism during 2015, according to Visit Bellevue Washington, the city’s official marketing and tourism organization. A reported 1.5 million visitors came to the city in 2015, up just .2 percentage points from 2014, and up 5 points from 2013.
Of Bellevue’s 1.5 million visitors in 2015, approximately 1.1 million stayed overnight, and contributed more than $795 million to the local economy through direct visitor spending. This is a 7-percent increase in spending over prior year.
Bellevue, previously bemoaned for it’s lack of hotel space and outdated convention space, has responded. Four new hotels are under construct downtown: The W Hotel as part of the expansion at Lincoln Square, Washington Square Hilton Garden, Marriott AC Hotel, and a five-star hotel at Bellevue Square.
The Hampton Inn and Suites and the Seattle Marriott Bellevue were completed and opened in 2015, adding nearly 500 rooms.
“We are excited by the growth of tourism in our little pocket of the Northwest,” Stacy Graven, executive director of Visit Bellevue Washington, said in a statement. “As a budding destination, the city is responding to the growth in tourism. You can see that if you just look up — there are cranes in the sky, hotels that are opening to meet the demand in travelers, and Meydenbauer Center recently completed a $12.5 million renovation, providing more options to conferences, small and large meetings, and events.”
The Meydenbauer Center, built in 1993, is the second-largest convention center in the Greater Seattle area. The renovation included a refreshed exterior, as well as updated audio and visual capability, and new interior finishes.
Graven, who also is the executive director of the Meydenbauer Center, said the renovation, “elevates the convention center’s interior and provides a new level of finishes and technology that is consistent with our hotel partners.”
Visitor spending in Bellevue generated more than $7.6 million in tax revenue to the city. Tourism supports approximately 10,200 jobs in the city.