Recession forces Washington to cut tourism funding

Recession forces Washington to cut tourism funding

first_imgKim Bennett, president and CEO of the Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office, is optimistic Southwest Washington will weather the closure of the state’s tourism office smoothly.“While we’re disappointed the state tourism office is closing, we’re also looking at the opportunity to restructure the state tourism efforts into the hands of the private sector,” Bennett said.Thanks to the recent inception of a private committee — called Washington Tourism Alliance — made up of hotels, restaurants, ports and industry officials throughout the state, there should be a resurgence in marketing efforts, she said.Vancouver’s tourism office is part of that committee, Bennett said.“It’s not going to be the end of Washington state tourism,” she added.OLYMPIA — Like a business trying to sell a product, Washington state has for years attracted visitors by promoting stunning images of some of the nation’s most majestic scenery — from the snowcapped peaks of the Cascades to the rainforests and thundering waterfalls of the Olympic Peninsula.That marketing is now coming to an abrupt end.By the end of this week, Washington will close its official tourism agency and become the only state to cease all state funding for self-promotion. It’s just one example of how states are coping with budget deficits brought on by slumping tax revenue.last_img

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