March 2014 Newsletter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR UPDATE  
Louise Stanton-Masten

Over the past several months the WTA has worked tirelessly to promote passage of our long-term funding legislation. We were pleased to announce the passage on March 6 of this legislation, SHB 2229, by a unanimous vote in the State Senate, following passage in the State House. The bill has now moved to Governor Inslee for his signature.

During this critical time WTA members and stakeholders came out in force in support of the legislation and quickly responded to our requests for grass roots action on the House and Senate bills. Thank you for joining in these advocacy efforts. Your calls, emails and visits to your lawmakers in telling your story of how important tourism funding is to your industry played a key role in our success.

This legislation recognizes a structure and level of funding for a state tourism marketing program and directs state agencies to work with the WTA to create a collection method for long-term marketing funds. It stipulates an initial budget of $7.5 million to implement a competitive state tourism program and identifies the five major areas that benefit from statewide tourism – lodging, food service, transportation, attractions and entertainment, and retail.

The WTA will work over the next eight months to bring stakeholders and state agencies together to formulate the industry-funded mechanism for marketing Washington State. A report is due to the legislature in December, with recommendations on how to fund and implement this program on a long-term basis. Look for continued information from the WTA on how you can participate in this process.

TACOMA HOSTS 2014 GO WEST SUMMIT

Tacoma Regional Convention Visitor Bureau

Last month, the Tacoma Regional Convention Visitor Bureau welcomed a record-breaking 170 international buyers and 400 domestic suppliers to Tacoma + Pierce County for the 2014 Go West Summit. The summit connects international buyers, generally tour operators, and suppliers, those who offer attractions and services, to promote international group travel to the Western United States and Canada. This was the first time the summit has ever been held in Washington State and it was a resounding success.

The summit kicked off on Monday night with a reception at the Museum of Glass that featured beer and spirit pairings with delicious bites from local restaurants. In the next two days, attendees participated in more than 10,000 total appointments on the Marketplace floor

On Thursday attendees participated in one of five distinct Adventure Day tours, ranging from culinary tours to snowshoe adventures on Mount Rainier. Their experiences led them to coffee roasters, local breweries, museums, farms and beautiful Mount Rainier. Attendees cannot wait to return to the region. “This is my first time in Tacoma,” said Laszlo Horvath of Woodside, California. “I was blown away by the kindness of the people, and the beauty of the Glass Museum. Mount Rainier – that was one of the most majestic views I’ve ever seen.”

The summit concluded with a reception, featuring Tacoma Regional CVB’s Washington State partners* and several Washington wines at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum.

Numbers are not yet available from the Marketplace floor, but if last year’s Go West Summit in Fort Worth, Texas is any indication, the news will be good. The summit in Fort Worth generated 9.8 million visits throughout the West and $243 million in visitor spending in the 18 months following the summit according to Go West figures.

*State partners included: Visit Seattle, Seattle Southside, Skamania County Chamber of Commerce, Snohomish County, Squaxin Island Tourism, Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater VCB, Visit Rainier and Visit Vancouver USA.

 

WSU HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM EXTENDS TO THE WEST SIDE OF THE STATE
University Center of North Puget Sound

Beginning fall 2014, the WSU College of Business School of Hospitality Business Management will have a bigger presence on the west side of the state when it launches its program at the University Center of North Puget Sound in Everett. Now managed by WSU, the University Center will provide higher education opportunities to hospitality professionals who want to advance to the next stage of their careers. In addition to on-campus delivery, courses will be served through other state-of-the-art methods including video stream, online and hybrid.

Of primary importance to the College of Business hospitality program in Everett is the rollout of the senior living curriculum. Originally started on the WSU Pullman campus, the senior living class was developed to introduce hospitality students to the increasingly growing industry of seniors housing. Currently, only a handful of universities offer programs on seniors housing and care. The WSU College of Business offers the only program in the Pacific Northwest.

Click for more information.

 

WTA PARTNERS WITH MILES MEDIA TO PRESENT AN EDUCATIONAL ROADSHOW

Join the Washington Tourism Alliance and Miles Media on our Educational Road Show:  State of the American Traveler and Creating and Tracking Effective Advertising Campaigns. During these FREE presentations, attendees will learn how American travelers are navigating the fractured media landscape in the researching and booking phase, as well as how to create, optimize and track effective advertising campaigns. Click here to find out when the Road Show comes to town near you!

MAXIMIZE YOUR PRESENCE ON THE WTA WEBSITE

Did you know that every tourism related business in Washington is entitled to a listing on the ExperienceWA website, www.experiencewa.com? If you are not listed on the website, please contact Mike Moe, WTA Director of Business Development and Media Sales at mike@watourismalliance.com.

To further maximize your presence on the site, check out all the new advertising options available on the site here.

For information on supporting tourism promotion in Washington State by linking your website to the ExperienceWA website, click here.

 

WTA MEMBERS IN THE NEWS  

NEW VISITOR CENTER OPENS AT WESTFIELD SOUTHCENTER TO SERVE TUKWILA

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES

Want to brag about something your destination was recently recognized for? Have news that impacts Washington State tourism? Please add the WTA to your distribution news list! We’re always looking for story ideas for the WTA monthly newsletter! To submit a story idea, email Sarah Winter at sarah@watourismalliance.com.

WTA WELCOMES FEBRUARY MEMBERS 

NEW MEMBERS:

RENEWING MEMBERS:

 Chateau Ste MichelleGrant County Tourism, Hilton VancouverRiver Park SquareVisit Spokane

 

If you have not yet joined the WTA and would like to become a member, please contact our Director of Business Development Mike Moe at mike@watourismalliance.comor join today online at http://watourismalliance.com/join/.