In the 2017-19 state operating budget, the Washington State Legislature appropriated funds to the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and directed the department to use the funds in collaboration with the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) to develop a draft statewide tourism marketing plan. Since the end of the legislative session, WTA representatives have been working with Commerce to develop a request for proposal (RFP) to find a qualified entity with marketing expertise to work with the two organizations.
Commerce has officially published the RFP on the WEBS for Vendors website. A copy of the RFP can be found here. The RFP includes the scope of work, qualifications for applicants and timeline for submittals, among other information. To respond to the RFP, please register here. Questions about the RFP should be directed to the RFP Coordinator designated in the document.
We wanted to make sure that you as tourism professionals had a copy of this document. Please feel free to circulate it to anyone who you think might be interested and qualified. Thanks for your assistance in getting the word out!
WTA TOURISM CALL TO ACTION
CALL/EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATORS IMMEDIATELY
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.
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY
HELP THE WTA BRING A STATEWIDE TOURISM MARKETING PROGRAM OVER THE FINISH LINE
The Washington State Legislature is in the final days of passing a new state budget and we need to make sure our priority legislation SHB1123/SSB5251 is passed and funded for the 2017-19 biennium. The current deadline for a new budget is June 30, a week from Friday!
Our WTA grassroots network has been awesome in contacting legislators over the past few months but we need you to do it again …and soon! Even if you’ve already send an email, text or made a call, please make those outreach contacts again this week!
The basic messages:
- We urge you to talk to your leadership and budget negotiators and ask them to make sure SHB1123/SSB5251 are funded in the state budget and bills are passed to implement the program in the 2017-19 biennium.
- The small investment by the state will be matched 2-for-1 by the tourism industry and provide almost immediate returns on the investment to state coffers. The important tax and spending revenue generated by tourism will make a difference for years to come.
- Washington is the only state in the nation without a statewide tourism marketing program.
- Our communities do an excellent job with local lodging taxes to promote themselves, but to grow tourism revenues for the state, Washington needs to have a statewide tourism marketing program that brings national and international visitors into Washington state. One of the primary goals of the legislation is to reach travelers and get them to areas of the state outside urban centers.
Everything you need is on the Tourism Works page. You’ll find talking points and a link to find your legislators’ contact information. Please forward this message and webpage link to your network. Every name counts.
Social media is especially important in these final days of the session. Please use the hashtag #tourismworks on all your posts and tag your legislators to let them know you support statewide tourism marketing.
Find the WTA on Twitter @WTAlliance and Facebook .
If you need anything for your own advocacy and grassroots efforts, please don’t hesitate to contact Barbara Smith or Mike Moe.
Washington State Travel Impacts & Visitor Volume, 2000-2016 – Preliminary Dean Runyan Associates April 2017
Summary The Washington State economy saw robust growth in 2016, which stimulated in-state consumer confidence and many industries in the state.
As Washington residents currently comprise two thirds of all trips to destinations within the state, tourism visitations, expenditures and visitor-generated tax revenues grew. The pace of overall tourism growth slowed, however, and Washington has dropped in stature from the state’s fourth largest industry to fifth largest.
• Overall visitation in Washington increased modestly (1.7 percent), compared to 3.2 percent growth the previous year and 2.5 percent visitation growth in Oregon in 2016. • While state residents are helping sustain tourism in their own back yard, Washington is failing to attract out-of-state visitors at comparable rates to competing states. • While Sea-Tac International Airport reported record passenger volumes and 11.1 percent growth in international passengers in 2016, spending by foreign visitors in Washington decreased slightly due the strength of the U.S. dollar or competition from other U.S. destinations. • Tourism disparity between Washington’s urban and rural counties continues. Compound average annual tourism growth between 2010 and 2016 shows that King, Pierce and other urban counties are as much as 50 percent above their long-term growth levels, in stark contrast to most other counties in the state which are at or below those growth levels. • Travel spending and employment grew at 4.4 percent, respectively, buoyed by robust hotel occupancies in Seattle and other urban centers, an 8 percent reduction in motor fuel prices, instate consumer confidence and other factors.
Tourism Snapshot – preliminary $21.4 billion Visitor expenditures 40.1 million Overnight person trips $1.8 billion State and local visitor-generated tax receipts 177,000 Jobs supported by tourism throughout the state
Business and Competitive Landscape in 2017 • Competing western states continue to invest significantly in tourism as a driver of jobs, economic impact and relieve for communities that incur natural disasters and other crises. Oregon plans to double its state tourism budget over the coming biennium to $76 million. • The position of the U.S. dollar, travel security and U.S. immigration policy are expected to continue to soften inbound business from overseas markets to the U.S. Some destinations have launched overseas advertising campaigns to counteract these challenges.