Guest post by TBEX North America 2022 Sponsor, The Port of Seattle
The Port of Seattle is a leader in moving people and cargo across the country and around the world. Often unnoticed by travelers, the Port of Seattle owns and operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), one of the largest container terminals on the West Coast, and is the launch point for many cruise ships sailing to Alaska.
As the travel and tourism industry continues to recover from the pandemic, the Port is looking forward to this year’s cruise season with close to 300 scheduled sailings bringing an estimated 1.26 million revenue passengers through its two cruise ship terminals. With a backdrop of Washington state forests, mountains and sparkling Puget Sound, Seattle has been the natural gateway to Alaska for more than 100 years.
Whether you have a few hours or a few days to explore, Seattle is packed with exciting experiences and attractions. An award-winning cruise destination, there’s truly something for everyone – culture-lovers, foodies, shoppers, and adventurers – to enjoy.
From the sea to SEA, the airport is newly certified as only the second large hub U.S. airport to earn the travel industry’s prestigious Skytrax 4-Star Airport Rating. This achievement follows a suite of improvements that make the airport experience better, including consistent and clear wayfinding, friendly customer service representatives wearing bright green, new digital tools like the flySEA App, SEA Spot Saver, and Order SEA. And beautiful, modern, and efficient new spaces like the N Concourse and International Arrivals Facility (opening this spring).
SEA recently revealed its modern welcome to the world, demonstrating how the new International Arrivals Facility (IAF) dramatically improves the travel experience and advances the Puget Sound as a leading tourism and business gateway.
The spring opening comes just in time to support the continuing recovery of international travel. Demand for Seattle remained high even during the particularly challenging last two years. Since 2020, SEA has welcomed several brand-new international services, including Qatar Airways to Doha, WestJet to Calgary, American Airlines to London, and Alaska Airlines to Belize. Other new destinations coming in 2022 are Alaska to Edmonton in April, Air Canada to Montreal in May, Aer Lingus to Dublin in May, Delta Air Lines to London in May, and Finnair to Helsinki in June.
The IAF provides a memorable front door to international travel and trade that highlights regional art, dramatic views, sustainability, and the world’s longest aerial walkway over an active taxi lane! Moreover, it offers a more predictable and less stressful arrival and customs processing to be as smart and efficient as it is sustainable and designed with Pacific Northwest values.
To fulfill the Port’s mission of environmental stewardship and sustainability, this facility has important green building elements that reduce
energy and water consumption. The architecture of the IAF mirrors the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and even the artwork evokes the natural elements of this region through colors, shapes, and movement. The color choices, architectural elements, and artwork will welcome travelers to the natural wonder here. d
While regional beauty and sustainability are center stage, the IAF meets the needs of our global and diverse community. The Port of Seattle is a leading contributor to the region’s economic recovery, and that depends on a thriving international airport that is welcoming and inclusive to all.