By all accounts, Seattle should be a paradise for tourists; after all, the Emerald City is the home of Starbucks, the Mariners, a thriving independent music scene, a bustling tech industry, and a lot more. Unfortunately, a recent survey by J.D. Power and Associates among 26,000 people who have visited the top 50 tourism markets in the U.S. indicates that Seattle is too expensive for most visitors.
Seattle is currently ranked 37th on the Top 50 list, which means that tourists are more fond of spots such as Jacksonville, Florida and even Columbus, Ohio. Altogether, the sentiment by 600 tourists who visited Seattle in recent months can be summed up as: “Nice city; too bad it is so expensive!”
Survey respondents complained about the high costs of lodging, entertainment and transportation while visiting Seattle; however, such complaints were not made about the cost of meals. The Seattle Times looked into the average cost of hotel rooms during the summer season in Seattle and found them costly at $193 per night, and this is for national chain hotels that offer the same amenities across many tourism markets.
Great Food, Not So Great Hospitality
Another aspect that Seattle seems to be lagging in is the friendliness of hospitality staff. Florida cities seem to be leading the nation in this regard, followed by California on the west coast.
Not all the answers provided by the survey respondents were negative. Seattle visitors seem to enjoy the city despite the constant drizzle, and they also gave high points to the diversity of cuisine and cultural event. The natural sights in the Puget Sound were also lauded, but the cost of the tours was not so enticing. The cleanliness and layout of the city also got high scores.
Overall, Seattle is not doing so bad as a West Coast travel destination. Portland, the progressive city in Oregon located in a much desirable climate, scored 42 on the aforementioned survey, and similar sentiments related to pricing and a certain lack of warmth emoted by hospitality workers were shared.