Highline College: Burien’s Pipeline to Hospitality/Tourism Success

Highline College: Burien’s Pipeline to Hospitality/Tourism Success Main Photo

16 Nov 2023


Burien, WA, is an ideal location to live and work due to the lower cost of living and a vibrant, dynamic collection of individuals, families, and businesses. Burien’s presence adjacent to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), a major hub for national and international travel, in combination with the vitality presented by the Seattle Metropolitan Area (MSA), makes Burien an economically viable option for hotel developers. Demand for more hotels is rising, but hotel construction is only one part of the supply solution. Staffing is another necessary segment, but quality workers to run the hotels do not just happen. Fortunately for Burien, Highline College has the expertise and foresight to deliver a consistent pipeline of educated, customer-focused professionals capable of propelling the hospitality/tourism industry into future success. 

Local training for the hospitality/tourism industry

Located just south of Burien in the Des Moines community is Highline College, an accredited community college serving the area since 1961. Its Hospitality & Tourism Management program offers ten career specializations within an Associate Applied Science Degree to prepare individuals to be quality participants in the hospitality/tourism industry. Students who complete the programs below will be fully prepared to excel in the hospitality/tourism industry as empathetic critical thinkers, possess an essential awareness of stakeholder groups, and lead organizations in multiple role structures. The certificates that apply specifically to Burien businesses include:

Customer Service Certificate in Hospitality
Event Planning Operations
Food & Beverage Operations
Hospitality and Tourism Specialist
Hotel & Resort Operations

Burien is THE location for the hospitality/tourism industry…NOW

Demand for hotel space in Burien is the result of the immense travel volume occurring through SEA, combined with the overall growth of the Seattle MSA. Visitors come to the area to connect with the vibrant business community, or for its unrivaled natural beauty and world-class attractions, all with access to their favorite destinations without the inconvenience of high traffic and challenging parking. Burien offers that access but requires more hotels to meet that rising demand. The City is actively entertaining proposals from developers and is committed to collaborating in making hotel developments work. Hotel developers who get in now may have a first-mover advantage to capture the pending growth.

Burien is at the center of the region’s transportation corridor and adjacent to Seattle - Tacoma International Airport, providing nearly 52 million annual passengers immediate access to:

  • Washington State Route 518, which links directly to I-5 heading north/south and becomes I-405 heading east/west.
  • Washington State Route 509, which offers direct access to the Port of Seattle and downtown Seattle and will be connected to I-5 by 2028 to make Burien part of the I-5 transportation corridor.

When combined with access to nearby regional light rail from SEA and a robust public transportation network, Burien is a central hub for anyone doing business in the region. Plus, Burien’s walkable downtown, foodie paradise, local breweries, unique special events, and thriving art scene make Burien a fun place to unwind and explore.

Make the move to Burien today

Read this article for more information on the potential awaiting hotel development in Burien or contact Burien Economic Development to be part of the hospitality/tourism momentum in the region today!