Commissioner John Creighton on New Delta Service to Japan

Moving between Seattle and Asia will be easier than ever before, according to Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton, now that Delta Air Lines is providing expanded service. New nonstop flights offered by the airline will begin soon, and they will connect Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with Tokyo-Haneda and with Shanghai.

Seattle was among four cities vying for a route to Haneda Airport, which keeps tight control over air traffic. This region is attractive for travelers who want quick access to central Tokyo, rather than flying out to distant Narita and then having a long drive into the city. A nonstop flight to Haneda could be a boon to Sea-Tac Airport, Commissioner Creighton says.  The new service also compliments Delta’s existing flights into Osaka and Beijing, as well as its new service to Shanghai, making Seattle one of the best places to begin a journey to Asia.

It’s also possible that visitors from Japan will use Seattle as their vacation destination, as the flights are quick and easy and the service is so efficient. They may have relatives within the region that they want to visit, or they may simply feel that Seattle has some attractions they’d be hard-pressed to find in any other major city. These visitors will bring a needed economic boost to Seattle, as they spend money on food, lodging, transportation and entertainment during their visit.

John Creighton Port of Seattle is, not surprisingly, thrilled at the news of this new service. He’s long been looking for ways to boost tourism within Seattle, and as co-chair  of the Port Commission’s Century Agenda Committee, he’s shaped the Port’s vision to help create 100,000 new port-related jobs for the region over the next 25 years. This new service may help him to achieve both goals.

Warehousing is Key to Port’s Success, Says Commissioner John Creighton


When discussing the Port of Seattle, it’s common for writers to focus on issues pertaining to the seaport terminals themselves and issues that surround them, such as increasing traffic and gentrification. It’s natural, according to Port Commissioner John Creighton, as traffic flow is often the most visible issue that impacts the port, and it’s also the thing that has the deepest impact on the average commuter. After all, when port traffic is backed up, commute times can often suffer due to traffic congestion moving into and out of the port. But, there are other aspects of the business model that also bear mention, and warehousing is just one of those important topics the port needs to consider.

In a perfect world, a shipper would send an item and a buyer would take that item right away. It would be a bit like a trade, with one company taking an item from the waiting arms of another. However, most companies simply don’t function like this. They ship items early, ensuring that they’ll be available when the other party wants to make a pickup, or the buying party experiences delays and needs to push back the date of product transfer. It’s an imprecise science, and as a result, most companies need to use warehouses.

That said, in the Information Age warehousing has become a science, particularly with management concepts such as just-in-time delivery being in vogue.  The Green River Valley is home to the second largest warehousing district on the west coast, and ensuring that local governments pursue policies that keep warehousing businesses competitive means that more companies can use the port, says John Creighton Port of Seattle. They’ll know they have the storage capacity, should they need it, and they know they can make pickups easily. Warehousing also means good jobs for local residents, as someone will need to be available to log those items as they move both in and out. It could be an excellent driver for the economy, and a vital part of the jobs the port plans to add as part of its Century Agenda.

Commissioner Creighton says more research should be done regarding how policymakers can ensure warehousing and logistics companies thrive locally, and he stresses that this will be a vital part of a successful roadmap for the port.


Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton: 2013 a Great Year for Taste Washington

Each year, Seattle plays host to Taste Washington, a premier event focused exclusively on the food and wine that originate within this great state. Over 225 wineries are expected to participate in the 2013 event, scheduled for March 23 and 24, and Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton hopes that visitors will be encouraged to come back for a repeat visit to Washington wineries and wine tasting rooms at a later date.

Taste Washington brings needed tourism dollars to the region, as those who participate often choose to stay the night in local hotels. The amount of wine poured makes driving a bit unsafe, and there are so many different delicacies to try that people often need both days that the event takes place in order to sample everything that’s available to them with their ticket packages. But, according to Commissioner Creighton, Taste Washington could bring the Seattle area even bigger benefits down the line.

Wine and food enthusiasts might be drawn to the event due to the participation of heavy hitters from around the state, but participants may particularly enjoy the samples of food that come from the local region. This is an area that’s often overlooked by food and wine critics, and it’s a shame, as Seattle has some wonderful options available. As participants sip, nibble and swirl, they’ll also have the opportunity to look out on the lights of the city, and when the event is over, they may choose to visit local restaurants for a more substantial meal, or they might choose to take in a show at the Fifth Avenue Theater, or visit a museum such as the Seattle Art Museum or Experience Music Project, or a local attraction such as the Space Needle or Chihuly Glass Garden. In short, the event could provide a doorway into the wonders that Seattle has to offer, and people might find that they’d like to come back and take a closer look at the city.

Why Tourism is Vital to the Success of Seattle

Recently, the Yakima Herald ran an excellent column on the importance of tourism for the state of Washington. The article, written by John Cooper of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau, contained some alarming statistics about spending on tourism promotion within the state, suggesting that while Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia all have significant funds to allocate to tourism promotion to lure visitors, Washington continues to keep spending low. In fact, the state tourism office was shuttered and completely defunded in 2011, as a result of budget concerns.

John Creighton, Seattle Port Commissioner, shares the concerns expressed by Mr. Cooper, and he hopes to convince policymakers and the public alike to revise their thinking about the importance of tourism within the state. Since tourism is responsible for some 51,000 jobs in the Seattle area alone, it’s a conversation well worth having.   Last year, revenue from the state tourism sector topped $16 billion.

People who live in Seattle might be well aware of the sights and sounds the city has to offer. They might know all about the concerts they can attend, the wines they can try, the restaurants that provide the choicest morsels and the museums they can visit. Those who don’t live in the area, however, might not have any idea that any of these delights even exist. They might believe that Seattle is all about coffee and fish, and without promotion, their ideas might not ever change.

For  Commissioner Creighton, every dollar spent on tourism promotion is a dollar well spent. Each tourist will spend money on food, transportation, lodging and entertainment. And if the experience is positive, that tourist might tell a friend, and another visit might take place in the future. Luring in just one person could mean bringing in much-needed revenue for the state, and those funds could be used for infrastructure, education and more. Budgets are tight, Commissioner Creighton knows, but promoting tourism could be the key to a successful future for Seattle.