Over the last few years, the tourism industry of Washington State has mostly languished. The Evergreen State is not the first choice for prospective visitor who wish to discover the wonders of the West Coast of the United States; most people think of California and Oregon, but Washington is not often mentioned.
Legislators who wish to revive the Washington tourism industry are pushing for a new marketing campaign and a revitalized office to tap into this important economic resource. Although Washington is blessed by the strong economic contribution of the Seattle Metropolitan Area, lawmakers believe tourism could add even more revenue that could be directed to smaller communities.
Washington House Bill 1123 was recently discussed by the Committee on Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs. If approved, the bill would create a new Washington Tourism Marketing Authority and a plan to attract people traveling to the West Coast over the next few years.
The legislative proposal would not impose new taxes. Tourism operators believe that Washington is ripe for discovery. Even without marketing, the tourism industry is the fourth largest sector of the state economy; however, this position could fall if marketing continues to be ignored.
Tourism could produce an annual gain of $21 billion to Washington State. The best part of this revenue is that it tends to be evenly distributed among sectors and communities. The new marketing program would ostensibly portray the Evergreen State as a region to be discovered beyond Mount Rainier. The program would include an introduction to Native American reservations where tourists are always welcome.