WTA Newsletter December – 2013

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR UPDATE 
Louise Stanton-Masten

2013 has been a year of great accomplishments for the WTA. Our focus was on securing short-term “bridge funding” to support specific programs, promoting and expanding travel and tourism to Washington State, and establishing our long-term industry-led funding plan for Washington State tourism marketing. Let’s take a look at the year in numbers:

$1 million in short-term “bridge funds” from the Washington State Legislature for WTA to continue its critical work to maintain and grow tourism in Washington State. The money is allocated over two years to be spent on website development and maintenance; postage for fulfillment in mailing the Washington State Visitor’s Guide; tourism research; operation of a call center; and international tourism marketing.

375,000 copies of the 2013 Washington State Visitors’ Guide were published in March. Produced in partnership with the Washington Lodging Association and SagaCityMedia, the Guide has a circulation of 375,000 and a readership of nearly

1 million prospective travelers.

80,000 partner referrals on www.experiencewa.com, WTA’s official travel and tourism website for the state of Washington. Additionally since its launch in January, there has been a 28% increase in time spent on the site, a 9% increase in pages per visit, and a 34% decrease in the bounce rate.

200 WTA members and industry stakeholders attended the 3rd Annual Tourism Summit and Day in Olympia in March.

193 companies and organizations renewed their membership investment in the WTA; and 67 new members joined the WTA this year.

150 media inquiries were addressed throughout the year. The WTA communications committee and our DMO partners responded to these inquiries and provided great stories to the media.

 30 WTA presentations were made throughout the state at regional outreach and industry stakeholder meetings.

9 monthly E-Newsletters, beginning with the first issue in March, are sent to 4,500 member and industry stakeholders each month.

 3 travel industry trade shows attended.  WTA representatives met with international and national tour operators at the International Tourism Marketing Go West Summit in Ft. Worth Texas in January and the U.S. Travel Association’s 45th annual IPW (formerly known as Pow Wow) international marketplace in June in Las Vegas. WTA members also attended the NTA (National Tour Association) Travel Exchange in Orlando in January.

1 piece of legislation written for consideration by the legislature for the 2014 session. The bill, AN ACT Relating to Long Term Funding for a State Tourism Marketing Program, is our first step in securing industry funding for our statewide tourism marketing and promotion program.

Stay tuned for an exciting year ahead in 2014. We hope to see you at the 4th Annual WTA Summit and Day in Olympia on January 28th. We invite you to continue to partner with the WTA in our efforts to obtain long-term, industry-led funding which will provide the dollars necessary to adequately support future tourism marketing programs.

 

REGISTER NOW FOR THE 4TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON TOURISM ALLIANCE SUMMIT AND DAY IN OLYMPIA

Join us for a day of tourism advocacy focused on WTA efforts to secure long-term funding for Washington State tourism marketing and promotion. Thanks to your support at the 2013 Summit and throughout the session, the WTA received $1 million of short-term funding in this year’s State budget. Now the push is on for long-term funding and we hope you’ll join us in Olympia to support these efforts.

Morning tourism summit at the  Washington Center for the Performing Arts – including networking lunch with open seating 

 Afternoon meetings with legislators on the Capitol Campus

 Evening reception at the Governor’s Residence

 Visit our Summit webpage for details and registration.

 

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.

 

LINK TO THE EXPERIENCEWA WEBSITE!

Help support the Washington Tourism Alliance and tourism promotion in Washington State by linking your website to the ExperienceWA website, www.experiencewa.com. The official travel and tourism website for the State of Washington, the site provides destination information, maps, the official Washington State Visitors’ Guide and other important resources that help visitors plan their trip to Washington. We invite you to link to the site. For more information, please visit http://www.experiencewa.com/link.

WTA WELCOMES NOVEMBER RENEWING MEMBERS 

 

If you have not yet joined the WTA and would like to become a member, please contact our Director of Business Development Mike Moe at mike@watourismalliance.com or join today online at http://watourismalliance.com/join/.