Great News from Olympia!


Contact your legislators NOW and ask them to support SSB5251 to create a Statewide Tourism Marketing Program.

The bill will be considered by the Senate Ways & Means Committee early Friday and then on to the Senate and House floors.

We need to reach every legislator!

Tell them to Vote YES on SSB5251to establish a Tourism Marketing Authority and the critical framework necessary to establish the statewide marketing program for Washington State.

  • VOTE YES on SSB5251
  • The structure of a Tourism Marketing Authority is necessary to ensure accountability and a return on the state investment.
  • Tourism impacts more than hotels, restaurants and destinations.  It benefits retailers, outdoor recreation, state parks, ports and cities….and ultimately the taxpayers of Washington.
  • A statewide tourism marketing program would concentrate on bringing more tourists to Washington from outside the state and nation.
  • The Washington Tourism Alliance believes there is a minimum of a three-to-one return to the state treasury on investment for the proposed statewide tourism marketing program.

This return on investment will happen quickly.  Unlike other state programs that may take years to show results, increased tourism will return the investment almost immediately.

What They Are Saying

What they are saying about a statewide tourism marketing program


We are now urging our colleagues to ensure the final state budget contains funding for a new Tourism Marketing Authority….While we fully appreciate the many difficult budgeting choices to be made this year, supporting tourism is a straightforward way to boost state revenues.

Guest Editorial, The Daily News, Longview, WA  Sen. Dean Takko (D-19) and Judy Warnick (R-13)


A statewide tourism marketing program can only be accomplished by a Tourism Marketing Authority that focuses on bringing new visitors to our state.  Localized promotion will remain the job of our creative and unique communities.

11 members – Washington State Senate


If the legislature doesn’t act this year, the most basic tourism functions now provided by the non-profit Washington Tourism Alliance inducing the only statewide tourism website may not be able to continue.  Inaction may also endanger the opportunity to compete on any level with other states for national and international travelers and get them to areas of the state outside Seattle and other urban centers.

24 Members, House Democratic Caucus


The tourism industry will continue to be there to help fund a statewide marketing effort but we need the structure and leadership provided in the legislative proposal to be effective and competitive.

Alaska Airlines


The state is significantly behind in tourism investment.  Tourism promotion in neighboring states like Oregon and Montana vastly exceeds that of Washington.  This bill is a down-payment in the right direction.

The Big Tent Outdoor Recreation Coalition


It is important for the state legislature to pass authorizing legislation as well and provide funding in the state budget for a statewide tourism marketing program. The structure of a Tourism Marketing Authority is necessary to ensure accountability and a return on the state investment. A budget allocation alone won’t provide the guidance as defined by a working group of bipartisan legislators from both the House and Senate who spent several months in the 2016 interim developing the program.

Economic Alliance of Snohomish County and 13 Snohomish County local governments


Tourism is Washington’s 4th largest industry and impacts more than hotels, restaurants and destinations.  It benefits retailers, outdoor recreation, state parks, ports and cities – and ultimately the taxpayers of Washington.  More than $1.8 billion in local and state tax revenues are generated directly from tourism.

Statement of Support – signed by more than 300 tourism advocates statewide


 Dozens of Public Facilities Districts (PFDs) work hard in every region of our state to attract visitors to our publicly-owned trade and convention centers, stadiums, arenas and performing arts centers. These facilities host events that generate millions in visitor spending, contribute to local economic development, and provide jobs and tax revenue. Many of our facilities were built with bonds secured by local lodging taxes. Those funds are not available for use for marketing to bring in visitors from outside our state. We need a statewide tourism marketing program to effectively compete with our neighboring states

Association of Washington State Public Facilities District


The robust benefits that can be realized from tourism growth warrant the support of a new statewide marketing program that can cohesively, collaboratively and effectively increase the reach and awareness of the whole of Washington state as a visitor destination, working to bring benefits and opportunities for business, industries and communities across region.

British-American Business Council



Mike Moe, Associate Director

Spring is here which means warmer weather, longer days and great opportunities to promote tourism throughout Washington state. It also means the state legislature is going to be putting in longer days as well.
With only a few days left in the regular 2017 session, legislators have a lot of work to finalize the 2017-19 state budget. As you will read below, there is good news for the WTA supported statewide tourism marketing proposal but we have a long way to go before we see the return of the state’s support for tourism marketing.


Our Tourism Works for Washington campaign is going strong and you can find all the up-to-date information on our Tourism Works page. You’ll also find talking points and a link to find your legislators’ contact information. If you haven’t already, please add your name to the Statement of Support. Please consider sharing this web page with your network! Every name counts!

If you have any questions about the legislation or if you would like to schedule a phone call or meeting to talk about how you can help, please contact Mike Moe.


Becky Bogard and Kathryn Hedrick

The end of the 2017 regular legislative session is April 23 but lawmakers will most likely need extra time this year to complete work on the state budget. Both the House and Senate have passed very different versions of the budget but the good news is both include funding for tourism marketing.
The Senate budget specifically mentions the WTA supported Tourism Marketing legislation SSB5251 and appropriates $500,000 for planning in fiscal year 2018. While this is not the full amount of funding we requested, it keeps the underlying legislation alive because it is considered “necessary to implement the budget” and provides funding that can be the subject of budget negotiations.
The House budget provides funding for a public-private match program through the Washington Department of Commerce. The appropriation is for $2.3 million to invest in several industry sectors including tourism. While this is not the full funding the WTA has asked for, it is important that tourism is explicitly listed as a priority. It gives House budget negotiators flexibility in their discussions with their Senate counterparts.

If the legislature does not finish its work this month, there are several options for legislators and the governor to call a special session. At this point, no one knows how or when a special session would be held but it could be well into June before the final budget is passed. Therefore, it is extremely important that tourism advocates continue to contact legislators to encourage support for tourism funding and specifically ask their budget leaders to ensure a fully funded statewide tourism marketing program.

Barbara Smith, WTA Grassroots Manager
The active WTA grassroots network is more than 700 strong and growing every day! Your contacts have had a direct impact and we must continue to keep the “pedal to the metal” with outreach to legislators. The WTA team has prepared updated talking points and advocacy tools available on the Tourism Works website.

Here are a few ideas to keep the momentum going!

Say Thank You!
Reach out to legislators who have supported tourism in the state budget.  Let them know their support is appreciated and you want them to keep pushing for passage of the tourism bill (SHB1123/SSB5251) and funding in the final state budget. Ask them to tell their budget leaders to support full funding for a statewide tourism marketing program. Call or post in social media, or send an email to legislators reminding them of the importance of tourism to your community and thanking them for keeping tourism a top priority. You can find a list of legislators and their contact information here.
Use social media to “tag” legislators with positive tourism messages.  Make sure you use the hashtag #tourismworksforwa and add visuals (photos and short videos).  Remember that old fashioned media is also important!  Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper – the WTA staff will happily help you with a draft.


Virtual Visits
Make arrangements with your legislator for a virtual meeting (phone call, Skype, Facebook Live).  Gather a few tourism supporters from your district for a group call where you can emphasize your support for tourism.  Some legislators may even have in-district meeting opportunities for constituents on the weekends.  Look for those opportunities to meet face-to-face is possible.


Consider another visit to Olympia
Late in the session, many legislators who are not involved in budget negotiations have more time to meet one-on-one in Olympia with visitors to the capitol.  Let the WTA staff know if you are considering a visit and we can help you with scheduling.
Tourism Week


National Tourism Week is May 7 – 13.  Include legislators in your planning for activities in your community.  Invite them to events and include positive messages about the value of tourism in your Tourism Week messaging.  Legislators may not be able to attend but they like to be asked and included.


If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to contact Barbara Smith  or Mike Moe.

SagaCity Media

The Washington Tourism Alliance, the Washington Hospitality Association, and SagaCity Media are thrilled to announce the release of the official 2017 Washington State Visitors’ Guide. This year, visitors can dive into adrenaline-pumping adventures, embark on culinary road trips, discover outdoor escapes and urban locales, and find out just what makes our state so breathtaking and unique. Previous guides have been recognized for their engaging articles and eye-catching artwork, with the 2016 guide named a Maggie Award finalist for best visitor guide.
With distribution locations in eight western states and British Columbia-as well as across the country via mail by request, online, and on tablet and smartphone devices-this year’s edition introduces nearly one million readers to the splendors of the state. This year’s guide will also receive exclusive distribution to thousands of Seattle Met and Portland Monthly subscribers. Pick up a copy today or read it online.
Mike Moe, Associate Director


In the past year, the website has had close to 800,000 unique visitors and over 1.8 million pageviews. One of the most visited pages on the ExperienceWA website is our Events page. Visitors who are looking for events are also among the most qualified because they are ready to be inspired! While any tourism-related business in Washington State can list their event for free, purchasing a Featured Event Listing is one of the most inexpensive yet effective ways to utilize
Featured Event Listings only cost  $370 ($378 for non-members), most advertisers who have utilized this program have paid less than $1 a click! Featured Events also have the chance to be included in our award-winning monthly eNewsletter for no extra cost!
To learn more about Featured Listings and all the other opportunities available on click here for our Media Kit. To purchase a Featured Listing, email Mike Moe or call him at 425-444-0589.


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 Diana Thibado at






If you have not yet joined the WTA and would like to become a member, please contact our Associate Director Mike Moe or join today online here.

WTA Legislative Webinar – 12/14/16

On 12/14/16 a webinar was presented by WTA Board Member – Shiloh Schauer and WTA Lobbyist – Becky Bogard. Throughout the summer and fall of 2016 a Legislative Taskforce made up of 10 legislators from both houses and both sides of the aisle have been working on a new bill that will be introduced in the 2017 Legislative Session. This bill will fund a new statewide tourism marketing program. This webinar explains where we are today in the governance structure, the components of the marketing program and the funding mechanism. It is important to note that this is a starting place and the details could change throughout the session and legislative process.

To view the webinar, click here.

The WTA Mourns the Passing of Donna Cappa

The board members and staff of the Washington Tourism Alliance were saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Donna Cappa. Donna died this weekend after being in a terrible accident on Friday night.

Donna was the Director Of Sales and Hotel Operations for the Tulalip Casino and a WTA board member. She was a strong advocate for the WTA and worked tirelessly for the betterment of the entire Washington tourism industry. Donna will be greatly missed by her friends and colleagues at the WTA.

Please join us in keeping her family and friends in our thoughts during this difficult time. If you are able and interested, click here to assist the family with funeral expenses and emergency surgery hospital expenses that were incurred.

A service for Donna will be at Tulalip Resort in the Chinook Room at 10am on Saturday.



Join the WTA for our Legislative Webinar on December 14th


Get ready for 2017! Join the Washington Tourism Alliance for a special Webinar on Wednesday, December 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. where you can learn more about legislation to establish a statewide tourism and marketing program. The legislation is the result of a 2016 Tourism Working Group of legislators and industry leaders who support a state tourism marketing program. The webinar will cover the basics of the proposal and highlight the governance structure and potential mechanisms for funding the new statewide tourism marketing plan. The legislation may change over the course of the 2017 session, but this is a great opportunity for you to understand and support the initial concepts and show your support through the grassroots network of outreach.

Washington Tourism Alliance Grassroots Webinar
Wed, Dec 14, 2016 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States (Toll-free) +1 (646) 749-3131 +1 (646) 749-3131

Access Code: 381-599-725

WTA Grassroots Webinar 11/18/16

On 11/18 the WTA presented a short webinar to help people learn how about the Washington Tourism Alliance’s new grassroots campaign to bring back a statewide tourism marketing effort.

This seven and a half minute webinar includes:

  • A short history of the WTA
  • A brief summary of the progress of  WTA Legislative Taskforce
  • the reveal of the new campaign brand and logo
  • a video that provides an example of how to use the campaign brand and logo
  • how to access and utilize the campaign tools available on

Click here to view the webinar. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mike Moe at

October/November Newsletter

Mike Moe, Associate Director 

The 2017 Washington Tourism Summit and Day in Olympia has been scheduled for January 24th at The Washington Center for Performing Arts in downtown Olympia. The Summit will be combined with a Tourism Works lobby day on the hill.

We are excited to announce Roger Dow, the President and CEO of the US Travel Association as the keynote speaker for the Summit. Since 2005, Roger has led the US Travel Association and has been instrumental in transforming the organization into one of the most effective industry associations in the country.

As our members and industry partners know, a legislative task force has been meeting regularly throughout the second half of 2016 to develop our long-term funding plan that will be presented as legislation during the 2017 congressional session. This task force includes legislators from both the House and Senate and each of the political caucuses, as well as WTA board members.

The morning session will include legislative members of the task force from both sides of the aisle who will provide an update on our legislative plan. The morning will also include a “Grassroots Rally for Success”. You will learn how to mobilize your community to help pass this important legislation and gain the tools to successfully lobby your legislators. We will make afternoon appointments with your legislators so you can urge them to support the tourism industry and the new WTA legislation.

Please join us for an evening reception in the Legislative Meeting Room at the Governor Hotel. Please note that this year’s reception is at the hotel, not the Governor’s Mansion as it has been in previous years. The reception will feature Washington Wine and hors d’oeuvres.

If you registered for the October 14th summit, your registration will roll over to the rescheduled event.

There is no need to re-register. If you registered and can’t make the rescheduled event, please contact Diana Thibado at to transfer your registration or to receive a full refund.

If you haven’t registered, please click here for more details. We hope that you can join us in January and stay tuned for more details to come on this exciting event!


Becky Bogard and Kathryn Hedrick  
As WTA moves forward in formulating a proposal for statewide tourism marketing, it is important to take stock of the impact of the 2016 elections for executive and legislative positions.
For the most part, the results of the statewide elections are settled. However, there are still some legislative races that are in doubt and they may affect the composition of the legislature.
On the statewide races, the results are as follows:
  • Governor – Jay Inslee (D)
  • Lt. Governor – Cyrus Habib (D)
  • Secretary of State – Kim Wyman (R)
  • Treasurer – Duane Davidson (R)
  • Attorney General – Bob Ferguson (D)
  • State Auditor – Pat McCarthy (D)
  • Commissioner of Public Lands – Hilary Franz (D)
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction – Chris Reykdal (Non-Partisan)
  • Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kreidler (D)
In the state Senate, it appears the majority will remain with the Majority Coalition Caucus (made of 24 Republicans and one Democrat). There is still one race in doubt. Incumbent 5thdistrict Democrat Mark Mullet leads his challenger, Chad Magendanz by about 1100 votes.
There will be a new senator appointed to replace the late Sen. Andy Hill. This person has to be the same party as Sen. Hill who was a Republican. Additionally, there will be a new senator appointed to replace Sen. Pam Roach, who was elected to the Pierce County Council, a full time job. The appointment will also be a Republican. On the Democratic side, there will be a new senator to replace Sen. Habib, who is now the Lt. governor. There will also be a new senator to replace Pramila Jayapal who was elected to Congress.
There will be some changes in committee chairs. It is anticipated that Sen. John Braun (R, Centralia) will replace Sen. Hill as chair of Ways and Means. There will also be a new chair of the Senate Education Committee.
In the state House of Representatives, there are several races still in doubt that, depending on the outcome, could impact the majority. The pre-election balance is 50 Democrats and 48 Republicans. Democrats lost a seat in the 31st district (Auburn) but appear to have picked up two seats in 30th district (Federal Way). In the 19th district (Longview, Grays Harbor, Pacific County), the Democrat, who lead by 86 votes, is now behind and will probably loose. What this all means is that the House will most likely be 50-48, the same as the current makeup.
The House may reduce the number of committees, and there may be some changes in current committee chairs. Reorganization efforts in the House begin this coming Friday, November 18. This will include determining the committee structure and assigning members to committees.
It doesn’t really seem like the elections will make many changes that will impact tourism legislation. Many of our advocates got re-elected. Some moved from the House to the Senate. The balance of power in and between the two houses of the legislature is virtually the same.
Progress to date.
The discussions of the tourism working group continue. While there seems to be general agreement on the structure and content of a statewide tourism marketing program, there is still not consensus on how to fund the effort. Many ideas have been discussed and undoubtedly will continue to be discussed as the legislative session progresses. There will be a working group conference call on November 21 to discuss options further and to try to come to a consensus or at least agree on a place to start. More details of the legislative proposal will be available by the end of the year, if not before.

Mike Moe

As advertisers all over the state start to plan for next year, the ExperienceWA Monthly Email ads are already filling up. Every month we send out an email to our subscriber base that features two articles about different experiences throughout Washington. There are a number of ways to advertise in the monthly email, but only one headline Sponsor position. Half of the 12 sponsor slots have already been taken! If you are interested in sponsoring an email, don’t delay.
Our Custom Emails are also tremendously popular because these emails are all about you! Your business or organization gets 100% share-of-voice, which makes them extremely effective. These emails can be customized for a single story or you can team up with partners to make it a co-op. Again, these spots are already filling up. In 2017 we’ll send out three Custom Emails a month, and while each month still has at least one spot available, four months only have one left! If your strategy includes targeting specific months, reserve your spot as soon as possible.
If you want pricing or more information, click here for our Media Kit. To reserve your ExperienceWA Email ad space, call Mike Moe at 425-444-0589 or email him at


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 Diana Thibado at