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With Air Canada set to boost service to Seattle from eastern Canada on May 1, the time was right this week for tourism types to drop in on the trade in Toronto and Montreal to tout the northwestern US city.

Visit Seattle tourism manager Caitlyn Shearer told Travel Industry Today that the city is putting a greater focus on attracting easterners to the city as a natural extension to its already strong market from the west.

Indeed, Canadians know Seattle well and the city is “overrun” by Blue Jay fans when the team is in town, she jokes.

And with a new hockey team, the Kraken, more hockey fans are making their way to the city as well when Canadian teams play.

But Seattle also has plenty more besides sports to offer, she says, noting the eclectic city has “so many iconic places” to visit, not least the famous Pike Place’s fish market, where vendors still throw fish around.

More fish tales are told in Ballard, home to the local commercial fishing industry, and the international district boasts unique cultures and food.

In early 2019, Seattle began a years-long waterfront revitalization program, beginning with the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the replacement of the Elliott Bay Seawall, a project designed to connect Seattle’s downtown to a new waterfront with eight hectares of improved parks, public spaces, pedestrian walkways, and bike lanes.

Space Needle

At the same time another Seattle icon, the Space Needle, has undergone a 360-degree “spacelift” in recent years with the US$100 million renovation including dramatically enhanced views (photo) and the world’s first revolving glass floor, known as The Loupe, showcasing a never-before-seen downward view of Seattle’s iconic tower from 150 m. in the air.

Another architectural wonder, Amazon’s The Sphere’s, opened in 2018.

The aforementioned Pike Place Market also unveiled a new look a few years ago with the addition of a MarketFront, a massive public terrace and plaza that offers panoramic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, space for close to 50 new day stall tables for farmers, crafters, and artists, as well as commercial and retail space for artisan purveyor.

Among many museums and galleries, the renowned Chihuly Garden and Glass, located beside the Space Needle, is not to be missed.

On the lighter side, Shearer says food tours and craft breweries abound, and she reminds that Seattle is the home of Starbucks.

The city also serves as a gateway to the scenic Puget Sound area and further out into Washington State, which she observes is the second largest wine producer in the country.

Bradley Sutherland of Air Canada says the passenger profile from Toronto and Montreal fairly equally falls into leisure, business and those hopping a cruise ship to Alaska categories, and people coming from the west coast can easily connect onwards to Europe.

Toronto flights will operate twice daily and Montreal once a day as of May 1.

Oh, and it doesn’t rain every day in Seattle, Shearer assures. “That,” she laughs, “is a really bad rap!”

Air Canada’s Bradley Sutherland and Visit Seattle’s Caitlyn Shearer


First published at Travel Industry Today


First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News