Seattle Culture

Selling Seattle

New effort from Visit Seattle showcases the city’s stunning beauty

By Sarah Stackhouse February 26, 2024

A still frame from Visit Seattle's destination video showing the Bainbridge ferry departing from Seattle.

Visit Seattle’s new three-and-a-half-minute destination video is worth bragging about. It’s directed by Emmy-nominated Matty Brown, renowned for his visual storytelling, and narrated by award-winning poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow, Quenton Baker.

“Seattle has always been home for me,” Brown says. “Even on my travels around the world I yearn to return to it. No other metropolitan city has really captured the sense of wonder and nature the way Seattle does. Its culturally rich background and modern edge give it such a grand mix of life.”

Baker’s poetic narration adds depth and perspective, drawing inspiration from Seattle’s charm and beauty. “When I set out to write this poem, it was natural for me to think of the city as a collection of texts. Of the intertwined, intertextual nature of the disparate communities of people, wildlife, and environments that make Seattle what it is,” says Baker. “A city is a complicated thing. It raises you, it scars you, it shapes you, it gives you context, it constricts, limits you.”

 

The video is being called a love letter to Seattle and will be a key component of Visit Seattle’s marketing. Highlighting iconic spots like Pike Place Market, Gasworks Park, Wing Luke Museum, the Fremont Troll, and the Gum Wall, the video captures Seattle’s eclectic spirit and commitment to diversity.

“All of this lives in me, someone who was born here and has lived here my whole life. The opportunity to write this poem means quite a bit,” Baker says, “It sings and wails inside me at different registers. The chance to sing back is a gift.”

Visit Seattle, a 501(c) organization, has promoted Seattle and King County for 50 years, through travel marketing and convention sales. In 2022, Tammy Blount-Canavan assumed the role of CEO and president of Visit Seattle, becoming the organization’s first female CEO.

While Visit Seattle will release its 2023 tourism metrics later in March, data from 2022 shows growth. Seattle and King County welcomed a total of 33.9 million visitors, marking a 27.4% increase from 2021, with overnight visitors rising by 34.9% to reach 18 million.

These visitors injected $7.4 billion into the city and county. They also contributed $689.1 million in state and local taxes, a 34.4% rise from the previous year.

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