Some clarification is in order with regard to Amanda Frinks article (Changes ahead for area marketing) about the April 18 Long Beach City Council workshop, and comments made at that meeting about tourism marketing.
The article incorrectly identifies the newly formed WTA as the Washington Tour Alliance. It is the Washington Tourism Alliance. The WTA is a coalition of tourism organizations working to create a private organization, which will pick up the strategic marketing work of the states tourism office after its June 30 elimination due to budget cuts.
The Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau has been involved with this group since its beginning. Our executive director is a board member of the Washington State Destination Marketing Organization (WSDMO), and that organization is one of the founding members of the WTA. Currently, the WTA is working to secure funding to maintain the states tourism website and staff a call center. At this time, the founding group is writing bylaws and will establish a board of directors in the near future.
Travel and tourism is a $15 billion a year business in Washington state, generating $1 billion in tax revenues; yet our state ranks 48th among states in promotional spending. After June 30, there will be no state money for tourism marketing. This will severely impact tourism communities. It is imperative that we all work together to find a solution to what looks like a devastating occurrence. Good folks have come together to see what can be done. In what could turn out to be a strange twist of events, the WTA effort may generate funding for sustainable tourism marketing that exceeds what the state provided in the past. Action plans are pending. Stay tuned. To learn more, visit www.watourismalliance.com.
The executive committee of the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau board wishes to assure our membership and the community that we have an established relationship with the WTA and will continue to work actively with them in the coming months. We see this work as critical to the economic lifeline that will maintain the strong and thriving businesses so desperately needed in these times.
Sue Madsen, Lorna Follis, Nancy Gorshe, Susie Goldsmith, Randy Dennis
Executive Committee, Board of Directors
Long Beach Peninsula