By: Jacob Rummel, Volunteer with BEST & Radio Producer for Bonneville Seattle
Seattle isn’t a massive city by any means, but, like any metropolitan hub, a short visit can be overwhelming. Especially if a traveler waits a few years between visits, chances are a lot has changed.
That’s where Visit Seattle comes in. At least a couple of the top responses to the Google query “what to do in Seattle” are going to be links to the Visit Seattle website. That’s probably because they’ve been helping people answer this question for a long time.
The non-profit organization has been highlighting Seattle and King County’s most visitable features for the past 50 years.
Encouraging and facilitating tourism isn’t Visit Seattle’s only goal though, they also make a point of working with other non-profit organizations in the region. Visit Seattle attempts to mitigate the biggest problems facing the city, like homelessness, the opioid epidemic, and crime.
“All of those factors are tangential to human trafficking,” said David Blandford, Visit Seattle’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. “Those problems have a lot of dimension and we know that human trafficking does as well. We’re involved in all of those issues.”
One of the organizations they’ve agreed to partner with: Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), in order to support their commitment to helping alleviate the problem of
human trafficking in Seattle..
Although BEST and Visit Seattle have worked together in some fashion for the last five years, the partnership was codified last December when Visit Seattle elected to become a member of the BEST Employers Alliance. Blandford explained this move just made the most sense.
“Aside from BEST,” Blandford said, “I’m not really sure who would take that leadership role here in the region.”
Visit Seattle also partners with several other organizations in the state, like the Washington Tourism Alliance and the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. Most of these other partnerships are strategic and offer Visit Seattle some explicit advantages when it comes to achieving their goals as a destination marketing organization. With BEST, though, it’s slightly different.
“This is simply the right thing to do,” Blandford said. “It’s not necessarily to stimulate more travel. Rather, this is our city, these are our hotels, and we just need to stick together and work for change.”