Cruise passengers urged to explore beyond Seattle

October 25, 2011

From the Space Needle to Pike Place Market, Seattle has plenty to offer its guests, but the Washington Tourism Alliance and the Port of Seattle are encouraging cruise ship tourists to explore beyond the predictable city limits. They are hoping tourists will venture into the suburban and rural areas outside of Seattle, including Issaquah.

“It’s really about what can you offer as an attractive package as an add-on to the cruise purchase,” said Dan Trimble, then-economic development manager for the city of Issaquah. “We’re pretty fortunate here to have several things that can be easily compartmentalized to those packages.”

Bill Bryant

From the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and Cougar Mountain Zoo, to outdoor opportunities and shopping districts, Issaquah has plenty to offer its tourists, Trimble said.

This is part of a plan carried out by the newly established Washington Tourism Alliance, which is working along with the Port of Seattle and other tourism agencies to let people know about the tourist opportunities that exist outside of Seattle.

“The cruise ship (industry) brings about $400 million to King County and the region, and that’s because the passengers are staying one to two nights in the area. But most of them are spending that time in downtown Seattle,” Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant said.

He said he hopes the cruise ship tourists extend their stay and explore the surrounding areas, “whether that is wineries in Woodinville or going out to Snoqualmie Falls.”

The state Legislature recently cut funding for the state tourism office.

In its place, various stakeholders including the port, some of the hotel associations and some of the restaurant associations have established the WTA to serve as a vehicle for communities to reach out to tourists, Bryant said.

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Press Editorial

July 12, 2011

State tourism budget cut hurts economy

The state’s elimination of tourism dollars, also known as economic development, flies in the face of wisdom. Each city is left to its own devices, and surely won’t have the impact that comes from sharing an umbrella with the state’s push for tourism.

Tourism is our state’s fourth largest industry. Visitors spent about $15.2 billion here last year, according to state figures. Yet Washington is now the only state in the nation with no money to spend on self-promotion.

A few states that made similar cuts are upping their marketing budgets again, but have expressed concerns they have already lost market share.

About half of the states are reportedly stepping up their marketing budgets to lure tourists and their vacation-happy wallets, knowing that state and local sales tax revenues get pumped up by all that spending. Isn’t that Washington’s aim, too?

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‘Share Your Washington’ and earn travel prizes

May 24, 2011

Washington State Tourism is asking Washingtonians to invite friends and family members to visit the Evergreen Green as part of the Share Your Washington promotion.

Running through June 15, Share Your Washington encourages people to send invitations. In the process, participants also automatically enter a sweepstakes for the chance to win trips from Alaska Airlines.

Entering is simple. Washingtonians can visit the Share Your Washington website, www.shareyourwashington.com, to send electronic postcards to friends. No limit exists for the number of times residents can enter. The more friends and family they invite, the more chances they have to win the grand prize.

The grand-prize package includes unlimited air travel within Washington on Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air numbered flights for the winner and companion for a whole year, from July 2011 to June 2012, and a pair of round-trip coach tickets for two people anywhere Alaska Airlines flies.

Share Your Washington is also on Facebook. Washington State Tourism is encouraging people to use the hashtag #ShareYourWA to discuss the promotion on Twitter.

‘Share Your Washington’ and earn travel prizes

April 22, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 22, 2011

Washington State Tourism is inviting Washingtonians to invite friends and family members to visit the Evergreen Green as part of the Share Your Washington promotion.

Running through June 15, Share Your Washington encourages people to send invitations. In the process, participants also automatically enter a sweepstakes for the chance to win trips from Alaska Airlines.

Entering is simple. Washingtonians can visit the Share Your Washington website to send electronic postcards to friends. No limit exists for the number of times residents can enter. The more friends and family they invite, the more chances they have to win the grand prize.

Share Your Washington is also on Facebook. Washington State Tourism is encouraging people to use the hashtag #ShareYourWA to discuss the promotion on Twitter.

Read more

State tourism guide spotlights Issaquah

March 8, 2011

Issaquah is highlighted as a destination for hiking and other attractions in the latest state travel planner.

Washington State Tourism and the state Department of Commerce released a 152-page, full-color print travel planner Feb. 23. The digital guide is available at the Washington State Tourism website, www.experiencewa.com.

Users can browse the free guide or order a print copy online. Or call 1-800-544-1800 toll free.

The guide spotlights time-honored Issaquah attractions and traditions.

“A cute downtown, chocolate factory, zoological park and the famous Salmon Days Festival, held the last weekend in September, are just a few reasons to give Issaquah a try,” the guide states.

Salmon Days, for the record, is usually held the first weekend of October. The state corrected the online guide last week.

“Our goal is to provide visitors with the resources they need to plan a perfect getaway in Washington, so our new travel planner is chock full of helpful articles, maps and inspiring photos from all across our beautiful state,” Washington State Tourism Executive Director Marsha Massey said.

Officials did not use state funds to produce the guide and instead relied on advertising to cover production and printing costs for 350,000 copies.

Find a free Evergreen State tourism planner online

April 6, 2010

State tourism officials showcased Issaquah Alps trails and the Salmon Days Festival in the official state travel planner released in early March.

Washington State Tourism and the state Department of Commerce released a 152-page, full color print travel planner, and also made the guide available online at www.experiencewa.com.

Organizers said the online offering represented a way to decrease the environmental impact of the guide. Besides English, find versions of the online guide in Spanish, French, German and Japanese translations.

Order a printed copy of the planner for free through the state tourism Web site or by calling 800-544-1800 toll free.

The guide includes information about attractions and events across the Evergreen State.

“As the economy continues to recover, Pacific Northwest residents are looking for affordable vacation ideas in their own backyards, and we hope this travel planner will be a valuable tool, as well as a source of travel inspiration,” Marsha Massey, executive director for Washington State Tourism, said in a news release. “Our great state has so many experiences to offer visitors, from its breathtaking beaches and national parks to refreshingly vibrant urban centers and cut

Find a free Evergreen State tourism planner online

March 14, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. March 14, 2010

State tourism officials showcased Issaquah Alps trails and the Salmon Days Festival in the new official state travel planner.

Washington State Tourism and the state Department of Commerce recently released a 152-page, full-color print travel planner, and also made the guide available online here.

Organizers said the online offering represented a way to decrease the environmental impact of the guide. Besides English, find versions of the online guide in Spanish, French, German and Japanese translations.

Order a printed copy of the planner for free through the state tourism Web site or by calling 800-544-1800 toll free.

Read more