Tourism Marketing Authority holds initial meeting

Officers and committees named, decision to sole source statewide marketing campaign

Created to oversee a new statewide marketing campaign for tourism, the Washington State Tourism Marketing Authority (TMA) held its first official meeting at Sea-Tac International Airport Aug. 30.

The 13-member TMA had a full slate of items to tackle in its inaugural meeting. Judy Tuohy of Schack Art Center in Everett was elected board chair. Other officers elected to terms on the board include Vice Chair Anthony Anton of the Washington Hospitality Association, Secretary Vijay Patel of A1 Hospitality and Treasurer Robert Lerch of EDI Holdings/Enterprise. The TMA established three committees: Finance, Bylaws and Policies.

The authority also voted to pursue a sole source contract with the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA). The contract, if adopted, will allow the WTA to execute a tourism marketing plan that was developed by the state and tourism partners in early 2018. Washington state hasn’t had a state funded marketing campaign since 2011.

To fund marketing, the 2018 state legislature created a statewide tourism marketing account to capture up to $3 million per biennium, using 0.2 percent of an existing tax on retail sales of lodging, car rentals and restaurants. For fiscal year 2019, the legislature seeded the fund with $1.5 million in general state funds. The TMA was created to oversee fund expenditures, as well as manage the contract with a non-profit, statewide tourism marketing organization.

For more information on the Tourism Marketing Authority, visit


Barbara Dunn, Communications Office, 360-725-2805

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