Tom Norwalk is President & CEO of Visit Seattle, the private, nonprofit marketing organization that promotes Seattle as a destination for international and domestic leisure travel, meetings and conventions. Norwalk oversees more than 60 employees in the organization’s main Seattle office as well as sales offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. He is responsible for all of the bureau’s operations, sales and marketing, finance and budget management and business development.
During his Visit Seattle tenure, Norwalk oversaw the creation of the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area (STIA), a dedicated marketing fund assessed from guests at downtown Seattle hotels which keep the city competitive in the leisure travel market. He led the re-branding of Seattle’s destination brand and Visit Seattle’s corporate identity. Under his leadership, robust Visit Seattle convention bookings have totaled more than $1.6 billion in the past five years alone. And Norwalk was a founding member of the Washington Tourism Alliance, working to find a long-term statewide funding solution in the wake of the legislative closure of the state tourism office in 2011.
Norwalk is a hospitality veteran with extensive hotel and other travel industry experience. He served as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Visit Seattle, a position he held from October 2005 to July 2008. From 2002 until 2005, he served as President and Managing Director of Seattle Hospitality Group, LLC, Seattle’s leading destination management company. Between 1981 and 2001, Norwalk served in sales and marketing and leadership positions with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C. From 2001 to 2002, he served as general manager of The Golf Club at Newcastle in suburban Seattle. Norwalk began his career in 1976 in the catering and banquets division for the Washington Plaza Hotel in Seattle, which later became the flagship property for Westin Hotels and Resorts.
Between 1981 and 2001, Norwalk served in sales and marketing and leadership positions with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C. From 2001 to 2002, he served as general manager of The Golf Club at Newcastle in suburban Seattle. Norwalk began his career in 1976 in the catering and banquets division for the Washington Plaza Hotel in Seattle, which later became the flagship property for Westin Hotels and Resorts.
Norwalk currently serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Travel Association and holds board positions with Washington State Destination Marketing Organization (WSDMO), Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 2018 Special Olympics USA National Games Board of Directors and a member of the Steering Committee for the new Tomorrow @ Sea-Tac Coalition which supports development and implementation of the Sea-Tac International Airport Sustainable Master Plan. He is a former board director for Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre and the Make-A- Wish Foundation.
A Seattle native, Norwalk earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Washington State University. He and his wife, Linda, have three adult children and two grandchildren and reside in Bothell, WA.
Visit Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization, has served as Seattle/King County’s official destination marketing organization (DMO) for more than 50 years. The goal of these marketing efforts is to enhance the employment opportunities and economic prosperity of the region. Some 18.6 million visitors spend $6 billion in Seattle and King County annually, contributing $597 million in state and local tax revenues. Direct visitor spending benefits hotels, retailers, restaurants, attractions, transportation services and other businesses, and supports jobs for nearly 68,000 people in the Seattle region.