Office Hours

TUESDAY, JAN. 18, 2011, 11:44 A.M.

Tourism rebounds in 2010

Tourists spent $15.2 billion in Washington last year, a 7.4 percent over 2009, according to preliminary figures released today by the state Department of Commerce.

The rise in visitor spending generated a five percent increase in local and state tax revenues, although just a one percent bump in sales taxes, the report says.

Travel-related employment held steady at about 143,800, and earnings at about $4.3 billion.

The estimated spending for 2010 _ complete figures with county breakdowns will not be available until later this year _ was second to the record of $15.4 billion set in 2008. Expenditures fell to $11.1 billion in 2009. 

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.