Visit Tri-Cities Expects to Keep the Tourists Coming in for this - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Visit Tri-Cities Expects to Keep the Tourists Coming in for this Part of the Region

Posted: Updated:
The Tri-Cities continues to see more tourists and conferences. The Tri-Cities continues to see more tourists and conferences.

TRI-CITIES, WA-  Visit Tri-Cities has plans to keep the region booming with tourism and to make this area a main attraction. 

Things look to be taking off to the next level here in the Tri-Cities with all sorts of partnerships, tourism contracts, and even attending workshops with people from out of the country.  Visit Tri-Cities is trying to grow this region even more. 

The Tri-Cities has a population of nearly 200,000 and it continues to grow.  Because of that, the local visitor's bureau, Visit Tri-Cities, will try to keep up and put this part of the region on the map.

One of the advantages we have is being the heart of Washington Wine Country where the grapes are actually grown and where there's actually an authentic feel," said Kim Shugart, Senior Vice President of Visit Tri-Cities. 

One couple from Spokane is about to experience that. 

"We haven't really really toured this area so we came down with a 5th wheel trailer and we're doing tourist things," said Jack and Barbara St. Clair, tourists from Spokane. 

The Tri-Cities has done so well that all three cities renewed tourism contracts with Visit Tri-Cities.  Visitor spending exceeded $410.9 million last year with more than 5,500 jobs tied to tourism.

In early October, visit Tri-Cities attended a sports relationship conference in Louisiana where they met with the Fast Pitch American Softball Association, USA Football, and a host of others.

When all these conferences come to town it brings lots of people, and people need places to eat, sleep, and shop. There is a reason why people who already live here should care.

"So if you're a resident here, a lot of the restaurants we have here or attractions wouldn't be able to be supported just by our population here.  When people come in and spend their money, it really allows us to have some great things and great quality of life, things we might not be able to have otherwise," said Shugart.

Just weeks ago Visit Tri-Cities met in Seattle for the United Kingdom Tourism Conference and presented all the various attractions the Tri-Cities has to offer.  With more and more people coming in, the Tri-Cities has started to have a new reputation. 

"I think it feels more like a city.  It's not little town Eastern Washington.  This is the real deal," said the St. Clairs.

Visit Tri-Cities is inviting everyone to the 2015 Annual Meeting and Tourism Showcase next Thursday, November 12th from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.  You can learn more about what will happen in our area and attractions for the future.  Click here for more information on that event.