With the State Tourism Office closing, the volume of media and industry inquiries to Seattle Southside has increased substantially. We are making sure everyone knows that we are still open and fully functional. While many are disappointed to see the State Tourism Office close, there is an overwhelming amount of support for the new WTA and I have been diligently serving on committees to help ensure the future growth of this new organization.

Thank You Marsha Massey and State Tourism Office

We are grateful for the years of work that Marsha Massey and the state's tourism office staff have committed to the tourism industry and Washington State. They will definitely be missed and WTA plans to carry on developing a program that will build upon the years of hard work they invested. Please join in thanking them!

Transfer of assets from State to WTA

Website: ExperienceWA.com and ExperienceWA.com/Industry will stay under the management of and financial responsibility of the Dept. of Commerce through the end of December, 2011, which means that   Commerce will continue to be responsible for website content updates throughout 2011.   One primary role of the WTA Interim Director will be to engage with Commerce's content manager to provide input, and to learn the system. WTA will assume ownership of the site on January 1, 2012.

However, WTA will assume ownership of the "Share Your Washington" and "Trips and Tips" website(s) effective July 1, 2011. These are separate, freestanding mini sites with little if any operating expense and WTA is prepared to work at its own expense with GreenRubino (or a vendor of their choosing) to make upgrades, modifications, etc..

Travel Planner: Commerce plans to turn over its current toll-free number and bulk postage permit to Visitor Guide Publications which currently operates both, in order to continue basic fulfillment through 2011.   There are approximately 14,000 travel planners remaining in storage for distribution, and a "set aside" of 20,000 more, which could be used for continued fulfillment through 2011.

WTA is engaging in a review of the travel planner for next year.

Media Inquiries: All tourism media inquiries and/or FAM requests will be forwarded to WTA or its designee via emails or phone calls.

International Tourism Marketing contract for Germany: The Port of Seattle, Jane Kilburn and Seattle CVB, Tom Norwalk will be main points of contact for this contract effective July 1, 2011.

Social Media Accounts: The Tourism Office will provide WTA all access codes, user names and passwords for all tourism related social media accounts before July 1, 2011.

Research: After July 1, 2011, all data reports (lodging tax reports, Dean Runyan and state-wide version Smith Travel Report) will be posted by a Commerce designee who will notify WTA  when reports are posted and available. Data report archives already have been transferred to WTA.

Trade Show Booth: The tourism trade show booth will be delivered to Seattle Southside Visitor Center.

Memberships: WTA will join US Travel / NCSTD / NTA / WSTPC, etc at the discretion of the WTA Board of Directors as needed. If unexpired memberships can be transferred from the Tourism Office to the WTA, there is benefit in nurturing those relationships beyond June 30.

Brand: The Tourism Office will package and deliver all native files associated with the brand guidelines i.e.: logo, ad templates, etc.

Media

There have been numerous television, radio and newspaper articles about the WTA lately. Please visit WTA's Facebook page for links!

Snohomish County Tourism Presentation

Thanks to Amy Spain at Snohomish County Tourism for hosting the WTA's update to industry leaders on June 21. The enthusiasm was high and there were great questions from the group. 

WTA Statewide Roundtable Discussions

Please note the following dates and locations. WTA Board members will be providing updates and discussing potential funding options for the future.

·         August 8 Port Angeles 1:00 - 2:30PM

·         August 10 Leavenworth 3:30 - 5:00PM

·         August 11 Spokane 8:00 - 9:30AM; Richland 2:00 - 3:30PM

·         August 15 Vancouver 9AM - 10:30AM

·         August 17 Tacoma 9AM - 10:30AM; Seattle 1:00 - 2:30PM

More details to follow!

WTA Director Search

WTA Founding Partners (members at the $2,500 to $5,000 levels) will have an 'open interview' with Interim Director candidates on July 6. The Interim Director is expected to be on board by the end of July or early August.

Bylaws

Founding Partners provided significant feedback to the proposed bylaws. WTA is in the process of finalizing with the attorney. They expect the bylaws to be adopted and in place in the next week.

Board Nominations

Calling all WTA Board  Nominees!

There's not much time left to get your application in! Deadline for nominations is close of business Monday, July 11. Nominations should be sent electronically to: director@watourismalliance.com with the Subject: Board Nomination. Once the nomination is received the sender will receive an email confirmation notice.

The initial five WTA Directors will review the nominations and appoint the WTA Board by no later than August 10, 2011.

Nominee Requirements

Each Nominee must represent a business or organization that is a member in good standing with WTA, or be an individual member of WTA.

Each Nominee must complete the attached form and include:

·         A letter of intent and/or statements outlining the reasons for the nomination and outlining what he or she can contribute to the organization

·         A current resume

WTA Board Composition - per the WTA Bylaws

The Board shall consist of no fewer than eighteen (18) or more than twenty six (26) members (each, a "Director"). 

The Board shall be composed of Directors representative of certain specified geographic regions within Washington State or tourism industry segments. 

At least seven (7) Directors shall have their primary business operations located within the following geographic regions (one Director for each region): Northwest, Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula, Southwest, Central, Northeast and Southeast.  One additional at-large Director may be elected to represent any under-represented region identified by the Board from time to time.

At least eleven (11) Directors shall be representative of the following tourism industry segments (one Director for each segment).  Up to two (2) additional at-large Directors may be elected to represent tourism segments not listed and identified by the Board from time to time.

(i) Arts / Culture                                            

(ii)Attractions

(iii)Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO)           

(iv)Economic Development Organizations

(v) Lodging                                                          

(vi)Wine

(vii)Restaurants                                                    

(viii)Retail

(ix)Transportation                                                

(x)Tribes

(xi) Adventure/Recreation                                               

(xii)At-Large (2)

Volunteers/WTA Subcommittees

There is much to do! At this time six committees have been established to focus on the immediate needs of WTA.  Those committees are: 1) Advocacy/legislative; 2) Marketing; 3) Website; 4) Fundraising; 5) Membership and 6) Summit/Events.  See the attached form which describes the committees. If you are interested in volunteering for a committee, please take a moment to complete the form and send it back at your earliest convenience.