Communications Program Manager
KIRKLAND, Wash. – The Kirkland Tourism Development Committee (TDC) is excited to announce that the 2021 tourism event funding application process is now open.
The City’s Tourism Program awards funds to special events, festivals and programs that demonstrate the ability to attract visitors from over 50 miles away and generate overnight stays. The primary goal of the Tourism Program is to support events and activities that showcase the City’s best assets while fostering a love of Kirkland that inspires our guests to come back and explore more. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m., Friday, August 7. The grant application form is available on the City’s Tourism Funding webpage or by contacting the Tourism Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In past years, the Kirkland Tourism Program has awarded funding to numerous well-loved Kirkland events including the Junior Softball World Series, Summerfest, 7 Hills of Kirkland, Kirkland Uncorked, Kirkland Oktoberfest, and Kirkland’s 4th of July event, Celebrate Kirkland.
COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on every aspect of community life. The hospitality sector has suffered significantly, resulting from low hotel/motel occupancy rates stemming from nationwide “Stay at Home” orders, travel restrictions and the current prohibitions on large gatherings.
The City’s Tourism Program, which relies on lodging tax revenues for funding, is forecasting significant losses in 2020 which will impact programming in 2021. With widespread event cancellations in 2020, the TDC has implemented austerity measures for the remainder of the year. The TDC’s intent is to preserve the City’s grant funding process for 2021 in anticipation of a vibrant comeback that showcases the strength and resilience of the City and its tourism partners.
“The Tourism Development Committee appreciates the hard work of city staff who identified ways to save money in response to significantly reduced lodging tax revenue due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, so that we can still fund key areas of the City’s Tourism Program including our 2021 tourism marketing grants,” said Tourism Development Committee Chair and City Councilmember Toby Nixon. “We’re looking forward to seeing strong proposals for events to attract and welcome visitors back to our amazing City next year.”
Kirkland’s Tourism Program has been in operation since 2002. During that time, over $700,000 has been granted to tourism events and programs. The Kirkland Tourism Development Committee (TDC) has proposed to make up to $60,000 available for 2021. These funds will be awarded for the marketing or operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists to Kirkland. The TDC will look supportively at new events, events that promote diversity and inclusivity, and events that embrace a post COVID-19 “welcome back” theme, while also giving serious consideration to events with proven track records for bringing visitors to the City.
Please visit our Tourism Funding webpage for more information on grant funding criteria and opportunities for bonus points. Click here to access the 2021 funding application.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 67.28.180 provides authority for cities to adopt a lodging tax. The City of Kirkland has adopted a 1 percent lodging tax rate and may invest these revenues into events that attract visitors to Kirkland.