Press Release – 8.1.11

PUBLISHING AGREEMENT ANNOUNCED FOR WASHINGTON STATE VISITORS’ GUIDE

Washington Tourism Alliance Charts New Direction, New Partnership

SEATTLE– The newly formed Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) announced today a strategic partnership with the Washington Lodging Association (WLA) and SagaCity Media Inc. to publish the official Washington State Visitors’ Guide beginning in 2012.

The partnership represents one of WTA’s first acts of business as Washington State’s official tourism marketing organization and marks the beginning of a new partnership between the three organizations.

As part of the agreement, SagaCity Media Inc. will publish WashingtonState’s official print guide for travelers which will be linked to the official state tourism web site, www.experiencewa.com. SagaCity will sell advertising space for both as well as fulfill visitor requests for the print visitors’ guide.

“The Washington State Visitors’ Guide is an excellent travel publication in our state and www.experiencewa.com is the primary online portal for visitors,” said Tammy Blount, President & CEO of the Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitors Bureau and one of WTA’s primary architects. “We believe this new partnership will strengthen these two critical marketing platforms, promote the success of other programs and help expand the benefits of tourism throughout our state.”

“With the recent loss of state government funding for tourism marketing within the State of Washington, we are at a critical juncture that requires all hospitality industry stakeholders to work together and pursue solutions that can ensure our success in the future,” said Todd Thoreson, WLA Chairman of the Board and Regional Vice President, Hotel Operations, Red Lion Hotels Corporation. “We believe this partnership is a step in the right direction that helps us achieve this goal.”

The Washington Lodging Association has published the Washington State Visitors’ Guide since 2000. With increased demand, SagaCity plans to increase its circulation to 375,000 for the 2012 edition.

“We couldn’t be happier to be the publishing arm for these two essential organizations in promoting tourism statewide,” said Nicole Vogel, President and Publisher, SagaCity Media Inc. “It’s an honor to contribute to this incredibly important engine of Washington’s economy by showcasing the state’s many outstanding visitor destinations.”

The Washington State Tourism office closed on June 30 at the end of the previous biennium. In anticipation of the closure, industry stakeholders formed the WTA in March and on July 1 assumed ownership and operation of valuable tourism office assets in order to preserveWashington’s tourism market share. Assets include the state tourism photo and video libraries, customer and client data bases and other collateral and, beginning January 1, 2012, the state tourism web site, www.experiencewa.com.

WTA founding members include: Washington Lodging Association (WLA); Washington State Destination Marketing Organizations Association (WSDMO); Puget Sound Attractions Council (PSAC); Washington Restaurant Association (WRA); Port of Seattle; and Association of Washington Business (AWB).

Initial board members of the WTA represent industry stakeholders who have invested in past statewide tourism marketing and industry advocacy efforts and may have direct investment in, or concern for, Washington State Tourism programs.  They are representatives from key tourism industry segments that include: lodging; destination marketing; attractions; restaurants and transportation.

About the Washington Tourism Alliance

The WTA is a 501[c]6 organization with a mission to advocate, promote, develop and sustain the economic well being of the Washingtontourism industry.  The WTA was  established by industry stakeholders with the sole mission of sustaining WashingtonStatedestination tourism marketing. The WTA procures and administers funds for state destination tourism marketing activities and creates and implements a strategic statewide destination marketing plan. Visit www.watourismalliance.com to learn more.

About the Washington Lodging Association

The Washington Lodging Association (WLA) is the trade and professional association forWashingtonState’s lodging industry. Founded in 1920, it is dedicated to strengthening the hospitality industry by working towards a favorable legislative and regulatory environment, providing valuable programming and services to its members, and by promotingWashingtonas a tourist destination.

About SagaCity Media Inc.

SagaCity Media Inc is a multimedia company  that publishes more than two dozen editorial and custom magazines in thePacific Northwestand the Mountain West. With its proprietary titles and its projects for outside clients, SagaCity provides an authorative voice that fosters community and sets ambitious standards in industries ranging from tourism to bridal to golf. The creative development and delivery of quality content are also propelling growth in SagaCity’s evolving digital media business.

Media Contacts:

David Blandford,Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau
(206) 461-5806/dblandford@visitseattle.org

Dana Haynes,SpokaneRegional CVB
(509) 742-9373/dhaynes@visitspokane.com

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