Tourism Matters!

Tourism Matters! Yeah man! Did you know that here in Seattle the tourism industry employs almost 150,000 people, generates total direct visitor spending of $15.8 billion and generates $1 billion in state and local tax revenue. At Ride the Ducks, tourism creates a million smiles a year! That’s a rough estimate though… I lost track at eight when I ran out of fingers.

Did you know? A few years ago, our state tourism budget ranked 47th in the nation. The state started moving in the right direction when the Washington State Tourism Commission was created and funded. However, the proposed state budget plans to cut the tourism commission’s budget by 65% and take $22 million from the Washington State Convention and Trade Center’s capital budget. This would be a significant blow to Washington State’s fourth largest industry and me and Tom Norwalk at the CVB are hoping that Christine Gregoire will veto these line items on May 19, 2009.

Just to show our support, one of my Ducks left today with a group of people from the Seattle Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to go to the Tourism Matters rally at Westlake Center! They were hootin’ and hollerin’ and waving signs to show our support of tourism in the state of Washington.

A big thanks to Scott Squire from NonFiction Media for the awesome photos!

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