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The Business of Tourism

In July, the Port of Poulsbo saw its fuel sales more than double in the year-to-date total compared with a year ago. Some of that is likely due to the uptick in the economy, but port manager Brad Miller doesn’t discount one other factor: a collaborative marketing effort to put Poulsbo on the tourism map.

“We’ve been seeing increased traffic,” Miller said. “There’s definitely a direct impact from the efforts of the (Poulsbo Marketing) Coalition to market Poulsbo as a nice local Puget Sound destination.”

The coalition was created several years ago with support from the City Council and has since become a formal nonprofit backed by the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association. read more »

The Business of Tourism

Free outdoor concerts that many communities host are always popular in the summer. Hundreds of people enjoyed the recent performance by country singer Kasey Musgraves that was part of the summer music series at Clearwater Resort Casino.Maybe Kasey Musgraves knew something about what a tourist draw her concert was. During her July 17 performance as part of the free summer music series at Clearwater Resort Casino, the young country singer twice called out “Come on, Seattle” to her audience.

Was this rising star who hails from Texas confused about where her gig was, or did a lot of folks come over on the ferry from Seattle to catch her show? Maybe both. read more »

The Business of Tourism

One of our greatest tourism assets is our connection and historic relationship to the water that surrounds the Kitsap Peninsula region. Our local waters and shoreline connect every city and community on the peninsula. It is the natural element that connects us geographically as a region and through individual and shared history and culture. Our waters are our primary tourism attraction and it fuels our economy not only through the tourism industry, but other economic sectors.

Our natural environment, interconnected land and water trails, urban amenities and services, make Kitsap Peninsula a popular destination for business travelers, leisure visitors and event planners. One of the key reasons for our growth as a tourism destination is our unique proximity to the Seattle-Tacoma region, the 13th-largest metro marketing area in the United States. read more »

The Business of Tourism

The new owners of the Lakebay Marina reopened the cafe and have been hosting events such as beer and wine tasting and live music at the historic location on the Key Peninsula. They are also restoring some cabins on the shore nearby that will be available as rentals.Long before automobiles came on the scene, steamships ferried people and cargo all over Puget Sound, delivering everything from schoolchildren and machinery to eggs and mail. The little “ports” where the Mosquito Fleet made stopovers were bustling commercial centers until the 1930s, when highways brought a more accessible mode of transportation.

There’s only one such remaining Mosquito Fleet dock in Puget Sound, the Lakebay Marina on the Key Peninsula read more »

The Business of Tourism

The Port of Allyn’s waterfront park is one of many scenic locations around the Kitsap Peninsula that are popular spots for summer weddings. (Photo courtesy Port of Allyn)The Kitsap Peninsula has plenty to offer visitors, thanks to its abundance of scenery, nature-based activities and quaint towns. And while kayaking, hiking and beachcombing are among the attractions that bring people in from all over the world, there’s one other kind of activity that does the same — weddings. Couples trek to Kitsap from all over the country and beyond to tie the knot, bringing along families — who book overnight hotel stays. read more »

The Business of Tourism

Ian Wilhelm skateboards at recently opened South Kitsap SkatePark in Port Orchard, which is proving very popular and has the potential to draw skateboarders and events from outside the area.While growing up in Milwaukee, Wis., Ian Wilhelm started skateboarding at age 6. He always carried his skateboard with him and used to go on “tours” to the West Coast to check out parks. Whether he hitchhiked or took the train, the skateboard was always there.

“It was everything from my pillow to my friend,” he said.

Now living in Port Orchard and working as a union carpenter, Wilhelm still carries his skateboard everywhere he goes. He’s never stopped skating for the past 31 years. read more »

The Business of Tourism

Jerry McDonald, right, stands with Steve Boerner, director of the Bremerton Historic Ship Association, in front of the USS Turner Joy on the Bremerton waterfront.Jerry McDonald knows how many tourists board state ferries at the main terminal in Seattle, and he wants them to know about all the possibilities that await visitors arriving at Bremerton’s waterfront.

“There’s a million people in Seattle, and the state ferries are the No. 1 tourist attraction in Puget Sound,” the Bremerton resident and tourism booster likes to point out.

So to spread the word about Bremerton to more people in the Seattle area — tourists and residents — McDonald is trying to link one prominent draw in his city with the top visitor attractions in and around Seattle.

The USS Turner Joy, permanently moored next to the Bremerton Marina, is the first tourist attraction in the West Sound read more »

Cover Story
Local tour operators offer scenic rides on land, water

Cover Story: The quest for tourismTom Drohan inherited the love of water and boating from his parents. He was 10 when the family moved to Gig Harbor, living on a boat for a while. He recalls giving tours about Puget Sound to visitors as a youngster, sharing his fascination with them.

These days, Drohan still loves to tell people from all over the world about Puget Sound. After a 20-year career running the family restaurant, Gig Harbor Inn, six years ago he put on an official captain’s hat and founded Destiny Harbor Tours (destinyharbortours.com). With two boats, one based in Tacoma and another in Gig Harbor, Destiny Harbor Tours offers three scheduled runs a day. According to Drohan, his is the only company south of Seattle with tours that charge per person. Charter events are also available for up to 33 people, everything from memorials to corporate outings. read more »

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