WTA Newsletter August 2013

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR UPDATE 
Louise Stanton-Masten
 
As the WTA continues our focus on securing long-term funding for Washington State tourism marketing, a recently released report from the U.S. Travel Association provides important perspective on other state tourism budgets. They report that 2012-13 tourism budgets are up an average of 4.5% over the previous year, and that 31 of 46 reporting states showed an increase in their annual budgets. International marketing grew at a greater rate than domestic marketing – up 8.9% overall.

Interestingly, the budgets of the top ten states represent more than half of the total of all U.S. travel budgets. Hawaii tops the group at $75 million and two of these top-ten states are in our region. The 2012-13 tourism budget of California is $50 million and Alaska’s is $17 million. Other budgets in our 12-western state region range from Idaho and New Mexico at $7 million to Colorado and Nevada at $15 million.

As you, our members and tourism partners know, the WTA is committed to securing long-term, sustainable funding so that we can effectively compete in marketing Washington State. Throughout the late summer and fall we are continuing our outreach, making presentations to industry groups and other interested organizations. Look for more information next month about our plans for WTA Board-hosted regional meetings in October, where we will present our long-term funding models and governance guiding principles. These meetings will be your chance to participate in shaping our plans for legislation to be presented in the 2014 Legislative session.

WTA Bids Farewell to our Newsletter Editor

Please join us in celebrating a great opportunity for Bridget Baeth, the WTA newsletter editor. After more than 5 years at the Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau, Bridget has accepted a position as an Advisor at JayRay, a branding, advertising and strategic communications firm in Tacoma. Her last day at the TRCVB was Aug. 15

Bridget did an exceptional job guiding us through our newly-launched newsletter this year, including writing and editing stories. She will be greatly missed!  This also means we are looking for our next volunteer WTA newsletter editor. If you’re interested, please let me know.

To keep in touch with Bridget, follow her on Twitter: @Bridget_Baeth.

MEMBER NEWS: TOUGH SPIRITED. WITTY. PROUD. APPROACHABLE. RELAXED.–TRAVEL TACOMA SHARES ITS STORY 

The Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau (TRCVB) boasts a new brand and a new marketing campaign, “Fearless Exploration.” This campaign reflects the brand promise–Pierce County is a place to fearlessly explore a fusion of natural beauty and an accessible arts culture. Simply put: Pierce County is a place for people unafraid to trek through the woods of Mount Rainier in the rain, fearless of breaking a sweat in the heat of the hot shop while blowing glass and resiliently tilling the soil that grows some of the world’s best rhubarb.

Through a storytelling approach, the TRCVB will promote travel to Tacoma + Pierce County, focusing on three iconic images–Mount Rainier National Park, glass art and collector vehicles.

The main vehicle for the new Tacoma + Pierce County brand is www.traveltacoma.com. The TRCVB also launched www.traveltacoma.com/explore, which features stories on local food, music, beer and the industrious arts scene to inspire potential visitors. Pinners will love the collection of brand images on the new Pinterest page, www.pinterest.com/traveltacoma. Learn more.

SIP SPOTS AND MORE ON WASHINGTON’S NEW SPIRITS AND HOPS TRAIL

The number of local craft breweries, cideries and distilleries is on the rise, especially in the Yakima Valley-the state’s top agricultural region. In addition to growing 40 varieties of crops, Yakima Valley produces 78 percent of the nation’s hops.

The Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau has launched the Spirits and Hops Trail website (www.spiritsandhopstrail.com) to help visitors and locals more easily navigate and enjoy these craft creations. The new website complements the thriving wine industry of the Yakima Valley and provides online mapping capabilities, including nearby restaurants that feature locally-crafted adult beverages.  

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES

Want to brag about something your destination was recently recognized for? Got 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 JULY MEMBERS 

NEW MEMBERS: 

 Cedarbrook Lodge, Homewood Suites Seattle Convention Center/Pike Street, LeMay Museum, MTR Western

RENEWING MEMBERS:

Argosy Cruises, Bellair Charters/Airport Shuttle, Best Western Park Plaza, The Boeing Company, Chambers Bay Golf Course, City of Lynnwood, City of Port Townsend, Island County Tourism, La Conner Chamber of Commerce, Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau, Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Baker Foothills Chamber of Commerce, Okanogan County Tourism Council, PSAV, Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Ride the Ducks, Royal Argosy, Tillicum Village, White Pass Scenic Byway, Woodland Park Zoological Society