Legislation to promote Washington tourism heard in Olympia

February 9th, 2017|

A Washington Tourism Marketing Authority (WTMA) would be established by legislation heard today in the Senate Agriculture, Water, Trade & Economic Development Committee.

Since the elimination of the State Tourism Commission in the 2009-2011 biennium budget, there has been no state-backed organization to promote or expand Washington’s state tourism industry upon which many small towns rely.

“As a lifetime resident of the state of Washington who has driven just about every back road, I think it’s just a shame that the state isn’t spending any money to promote the wonders of our state to the benefit of our small businesses,” said prime sponsor of Senate Bill 5251, Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview.

The bipartisan bill ensures that any expenditures made with taxpayer dollars by the WTMA be matched by a private contribution at a two-to-one ratio of private dollars to public dollars.

“A Washington Tourism Marketing program is a win-win, benefitting our small business owners on the shores of coastal towns and enhancing our ability to share our distinct cultures and environments with the world at a relatively insignificant cost to the taxpayer,” Takko said.

The bill is expected to receive a vote before the committee in the coming weeks.