Washington State Tourism Industry In the Midst of Change

Washington: The StateMany of you know, but others may not have heard, due to recent budget cuts, the Washington State Tourism office within the Department of Commerce will be eliminated this year.  Here is some background information and an update on the current situation.

Is there anything we can do to retain the state tourism office?
No. The governor, Department of Commerce leadership and the legislature have agreed on closure of the office. The only question that remains is the closure date, which is currently May 1st in the Senate version of the supplemental budget, but could choose to keep the program running through June 30th.

What did the industry do to keep the tourism office funded?
Industry stakeholders fought quickly and aggressively through strategic lobbying in Olympia, direct meetings with the governor and legislators, and broad-based pleas to constituents across the state to voice their concerns in Olympia. While advocacy efforts of the past five years have been highly visible and inclusive, the unexpected and urgent nature of the proposed tourism office closure required fast behind-the-scenes work by industry leaders.

What Happens next?

Although this can be considered a crisis, it can also be seen as an opportunity. The industry leaders and  partners have been working hard on a transition plan for the immediate future. We need your to help set the course for long range plan. Please attend the upcoming summit on March 31st to learn about what is happening and how you can provide input and direction into the future of our state’s fourth largest industry. Tourism Matters and so does your opinion. Please join us.   

The Washington State Tourism Industry invites you
Join us for a half-day tourism industry summit to talk about what happens next as we work toward a unified, statewide tourism plan.  

This summit is sponsored by the newly formed Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA), a 501[c]6 established by industry stakeholders with the sole mission of sustaining destination tourism marketing for Washington State. Our plan is to procure and administer funds for statewide destination tourism marketing activities and create and implement a strategic statewide destination marketing plan.  WTA is governed and overseen by the tourism industy and is not a state government organization.

Please come prepared to join us as we initiate the Washington Tourism Alliance!

Tourism MattersWHEN:
March 31, 2011
8:00 am – 9:00 am Registration, Breakfast & Networking
9:00 am – 12:00pm Program

Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center
17620 International Blvd.
Seattle, WA  98188   

Anyone with a vested interest in a successful statewide tourism program.  

Complimentary but pre-registration is required.  Click here for information and to register.


  • Washington Lodging Association (WLA)
  • Washington Destination Marketing Organizations Association (WSDMO)
  • Puget Sound Attractions Council (PSAC)
  • Washington Restaurant Association (WRA)
  • Port of Seattle
  • National Tour Association (NTA)
  • Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA)
  • Association of Washington Business (AWB)
  • Many more organizations, association and supporters join as we grow

QUESTIONS? Visit, www.watourismalliance.com

If you need overnight accommodations, please call Debbie at the Hilton Seattle Airport at 206 248-7150 and ask for the WTA rate.

Thanks to Mary Kay Nelson & the Visit Rainier Board of Directors for this information.