SEATTLE – Visit Seattle has announced that Tom Norwalk will retire as President and Chief Executive Officer on March 31, 2022, after 15 years of service for the organization.
Under Norwalk’s leadership, Seattle set all-time records for tourism visitation and spending. Among his many contributions to the organization, Norwalk oversaw the creation of the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area (STIA), a dedicated marketing fund assessed from guests at downtown Seattle hotels which keeps the city competitive in the leisure travel market. He is also credited with helping change Seattle’s perception to a year-round tourism destination, overseeing Seattle’s destination rebrand and Visit Seattle’s corporate identity; and most recently, leading pandemic recovery efforts.
“Through Tom’s steadfast leadership, and unwavering commitment to our city, Seattle has cemented its footing as an all-time great tourism destination,” said Kevin Clark, Chair of the Visit Seattle Board of Directors. “The board commends Tom for his incredible service to our organization, our hotel and industry partners; and our region. We’re very grateful to have Tom’s continued leadership and guidance over the next six months; and know he will poise us for exceptional growth ahead of this pivotal time for Seattle.”
“It’s been the journey of a lifetime and the greatest professional honor to promote and market the city that I love,” said Norwalk. “The Visit Seattle organization is home to some of the most talented, passionate and brilliant minds in the industry. While there’s no great time to say goodbye, I am confident we have the right team in place to keep Seattle’s momentum going. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues through the next six months to ensure our continued growth through this critical and exciting time in our city’s history.”
The Board of Directors will be conducting a nationwide search for Norwalk’s successor, with an announcement expected in early 2022.