The Senate passed a companion bill to 12th District Representative Cary Condotta’s bill to create a state tourism board. The Washington Tourism Marketing Authority, will manage financial resources for the development of a statewide tourism marketing plan. “Washington is the only state in the country that does not have some type of investment in the tourism industry at the state level. What makes this bill so efficient is that the private industry must put up two dollars for each dollar the state invests. Studies show that for every dollar invested in a marketing program, the program returns somewhere around $2.50 in state taxes,” said Condotta. The board will get $1.5 million in the final operating budget collected from taxes on lodging, car rentals, and restaurants. The private sector will need to raised their own funds, $2 for every $1 of state funding, so that in total, $4.5 million can be available to promote Washington as a tourist destination. The WTMA is expected to be funded in the final operating budget.
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