A lot of people are visiting the Yakima Valley this summer. In fact, Yakima Valley Tourism reports occupancy rates in Yakima County hotels and motels averaged 69 percent in July, an increase of 22.7 percent over July 2013. Local hotel occupancy through the first half of the year was up 12.8 percent compared with the same period in 2013. Statewide, lodging occupancy growth through July was just under 4 percent.

“We’re encouraged with these numbers and what they mean for our local economy,” says John Cooper, President & CEO of Yakima Valley Tourism. “I think most of the lodging growth is due to more leisure and business travel coupled with convention and sporting events. As a destination we’ve been successful in bringing more visitors to the region.”

The Yakima Valley hosted 353 conventions and sporting events between January and July with 106,253 people, an increase of 4 percent. Yakima Valley Tourism reports that 61 additional conventions and sporting events are planned for the remainder of 2014.