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.
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
- Find your legislator’s email address here