After eliminating the state tourism office in 2011, Washington lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow those in the private sector to pick up the slack.
Washington is currently the only state without a state-funded tourism office. In the surrounding states and Canada, from $7 million to upward of $60 million a year is spent marketing to visitors. The Washington Tourism Alliance says the state can't adequately compete on its current budget of about $1 million a year from the dues of about 440 members across the state and short-term funding from the Legislature.
Under the bill, money to support tourism marketing and promotion throughout the state would come from the tourism industry in five key areas; lodging, food service, attractions and entertainment, retail and transportation.