WTA Launches into Advocacy Phase, Changes Leadership

September 20, 2012

SEATTLE – The Board of Directors of the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) has announced the organization’s move toward building advocacy for its long-term, sustainable funding model designed to create an industry-funded organization.  The move involves finalizing a plan that will set up a mechanism to collect funds from various tourism-related business sectors in the state, and the funds will be used to promote the state as a travel and tourism destination.

This final phase allows the state’s $16.4 billion travel and tourism industry to remain competitive in marketing on a national and international level to protect and expand the industry and bring the benefits to communities throughout the state.

“Details of the plan are being fleshed out now, so businesses within these sectors will know what their potential contribution to state-wide tourism promotion will be,”  said Kevin Clark, WTA Board Chairman and President and CEO of Argosy Cruises and Tillicum Village.  “We need to approach Olympia next legislative session with a solution for the huge void that was left when the state pulled all funding from the tourism office in 2011, and we need support from all sectors across the state to be successful.”  Clark said it may take more than one legislative session to accomplish the organization’s goal.

Clark also announced the organization’s interim Executive Director, Suzanne Fletcher, has fulfilled her one-year employment contract and will be helping in the transition through October or until a new director for the organization is hired.  “We appreciate Suzanne’s efforts in helping secure the state’s tourism promotion assets, like the website, and in helping us grow from zero to more than 450 members,” Clark said.

“For a start-up organization to have accomplished all we have, it has taken a strong voice like Suzanne’s and we are very grateful for her contribution to this state and this industry.  She has been to every corner of the state carrying the WTA message, and she will be helpful as we identify resources needed to move to this next phase.”

Candidates interested in applying for the new interim director’s role should visit www.watourismalliance.com.  WTA hopes to fill the role by November.

Media Contact
David Blandford
(206) 461-5806  dblandford@visitseattle.org

About the Washington Tourism Alliance
The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) is a 501[c]6 organization established by industry stakeholders with the sole mission of sustaining Washington State destination tourism marketing. The WTA procures and administers funds for state destination tourism marketing activities and creates and implements a strategic statewide destination marketing plan. www.watourismalliance.com