WTA Urgent Call to Legislative Action – Please help by sending this message to your Representative today!

The House of Representative’s budget will be released early this week.  WTA needs your help to let them know the importance of our FULLY FUNDED request of $1.275M in bridge funding to underwrite the basics of a marketing program in 2014 and 2015 which would include our website, postage for mailing the

Washington State Visitors’ Guide, operation of a call center, research, and international marketing.  The Senate budget released last week only allocates $200,000 for tourism, so it is essential that we ask the House to fully fund our request.

We’ve provided a letter below that you can customize in contacting your legislator, or you can call the legislative hotline and leave a message for your representative. If your representative is a Democrat please ask them to let Rep. Ross Hunter and Rep. Jeff Morris know they support the request, and if your representative is a Republican, ask them to talk to Rep. Gary Alexander to express your support.

Your help is essential in expressing your strong support for this one-time public investment in tourism promotion.

 

Dear Representative _____________:

In 2011, as a result of legislative action, the state tourism office closed.  We are the only state without a statewide tourism marketing program, yet tourism is the fourth largest industry in this state.  In 2012, the tourism industry employed over 153,300 people, created $4.7 billion in earnings and generated $16.9 billion in direct visitor spending.  Tourism put over $1 billion in state and local tax coffers.

To fill the void, the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) was formed.  This private industry organization is providing a minimal marketing effort to maintain a presence and keep our state on the radar screen of tourists.

The WTA is requesting a one-time appropriation of $1.275M for the 2013-15 biennium. The purpose of this request is to provide for the basics of a statewide tourism marketing program until we get a mechanism in place to finance such a program from industry assessments. This appropriation request would allow the WTA to continue, and in some instance put in place, the elements of a statewide marketing program. Funding will go to website development, postage for fulfillment pieces, operation of a call center, research, and international marketing – all of these items are essential to promoting tourism in Washington State.

We ask that you include these requests in your version of the 2013-15 biennial budget.  Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

To find and contact your legislators:

  • To identify your legislators visit www.leg.wa.gov and  select ‘find my district’ tab
  • Call the legislative hotline at 800-562-6000