10/08/2009: "SJC Tourists: $129.7 Spent"
Tourism Contributed $129.7 Million to San Juan County Economy in 2008. Visitor spending grew by $2.6 million (representing 2% growth) from 2007, according to a Dean Runyan Associates study. These are the most recent annual statistics available in the series of Dean Runyan research studies.
Visitors accounted for 27% of all state and local tax dollars generated in the county; with a significant 41% of all local sales and lodging tax dollars that stay in San Juan County to support local services. Only two counties (Pacific and Skamania) retain higher percentages in their own communities. Direct tax receipts to San Juan County generated by travel spending totaled $9.1 million in 2008.
**A breakdown of the top five expenditures shows that in 2008 visitors spent:
$40.4 million on food and beverage services
$34.8 million on lodging
$19.6 million on arts, entertainment and recreation
$17.6 million on retail sales
$8.9 million on food stores
Overnight guests accounted for more than 80% ($104.6 million) of total visitor spending, in clear support of the data showing that visitors who stay longer outspend day trippers by a significant percentage. Day visitors spent $25.2 million.
In addition, the nine-year period of 2000 through 2008 shows a 5.5% average annual increase for San Juan County, placing the county in tenth position out of 39 counties statewide and above the state average of 4.9% growth for the same time period.
The complete statewide study can be viewed at www.experiencewashington.com/industry.