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Published on Saturday, January 20, 2018

Cities support revived tourism bill

SB 5251, Sen. Dean Takko (D-Kelso), has been reintroduced after failing to pass in 2017. The bill was well on its way to final passage when it became caught up in the 2017 capital budget impasse.

Historically, the Washington State Department of Commerce ran a tourism office, but it was never adequately funded. In 2011, the state ceased to fund any sort of tourism offices in Washington. Today, we are the only state in the nation without a dedicated state-funded tourism office.

Tourism is the fourth largest economic sector in the state. Many of our cities, large and small, benefit immensely from tourism.

SB 5251, would create the Washington Tourism Marking Authority to manage financial resources and contract for the development of a statewide tourism marketing plan. The 2017 operating budget dedicated $500,000 to formulate a tourism marketing plan.

AWC supports this legislation.