Tourism & Retail Cluster
Port Townsend is well-branded and known for its Victorian Seaport architecture and maritime heritage, with large numbers of people visiting for festivals and events such as the Wooden Boat Festival, Film Festival and Centrum’s arts festivals for Jazz, Fiddle Tunes, Blues, etc. The tourism season gives a boost to the downtown and uptown retail businesses.
Jefferson County is known for its scenic beauty, eco-tourism and outdoor recreation, like scuba diving, biking, hiking, fishing, etc. PT and surrounding areas are unequalled in terms of diversity of opportunity for visitors, including talented artists and musicians, and culinary tourism.
Port Townsend and areas around Jefferson County make for an easy getaway for people in larger urban areas, both for day trips and overnight stays. The area is relatively accessible to major transportation hubs, i.e. SeaTac. Port Townsend is a great “base camp” for further exploration across the Olympic Peninsula. PTGuide.com has provided an excellent web presence over the past decade or more, with 60% of lodging bookings coming from that site. It’s provided local support as well, encouraging those living in the area to “shop local.” That ranges from retailers to restaurants to Farmers Markets.
Tourism is a coordinated and complementary effort among Port Townsend, the County’s Tourism Coordinating Council and the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission. Retail for Port Townsend has a superb and award winning coordinating entity in the “Main Street” organization. The City of Port Townsend employs a marketing director for PT to increase visitors and audience. Businesses throughout Port Townsend, the Tri-Area and Port Ludlow are encompassed by the recently merged Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, and Quilcene and Brinnon cooperate within the North Hood Canal Chamber of Commerce. Community and volunteer support for non-profit event organizations is vibrant and energized.
Information from the Team Jefferson Industry Cluster Report, November 2010.