If you’re stopping by to read a happy go lucky post today the be warned as the following post will be in the form of a rant. It doesn’t happen around here often but there are times when I just don’t understand the direction or reasoning of our elected officials.
Yesterday, while combing through Facebook, I was informed via Everything Washington‘s fan page that Washington State will be closing its tourism office due to a tightening budget. So let me get this straight. Governor Gregoire cut 1.8 million out of the State’s budget which was directly related to $15 billion in State generated revenue? If you were a business and/or currently run a business – I personally think government should be run like one – then you effectively blew any chance of competing in the tourism market place. Aren’t states in the tourism business? Businesses consistently look at ROI – return on investment – to make strategic decisions for their budget and if a strategic marketing campaign yielded a 8,333% ROI wouldn’t that be a good thing? Sales go up good, sales go down bad. I am no mathematician but isn’t a 8,333% increase is an extremely large number?
Citizens of Washington State are faced with a budget cut that will negatively impact the State due to lack of tourism generated funds. Take away those funds from the economy and what do you have? A worse off economy – way to go government! In a shift to help combat the State’s budget cut, the Washington Tourism Alliance has begun a fundraising campaign to help bridge the gap and keep State tourism awareness up. In my personal opinion, local bloggers, article writers, newspapers, photographers, and business people need to spread the word that Washington has more scenic destinations and variety of outdoor activities than any other state in the union. No other state has a rain forest with two different large scale mountain ranges, the largest salt water inlet (for boating, fishing, shellfishing, and sightseeing), a high plains desert, and countless rivers and lakes which are all matched with a vibrant outdoor culture.
Here are My Favorite Quotes on the Tourism Office Closure
“Our lesson to Washington is that it’s been 18 years since we went dark in 1993, and we still haven’t gotten back to the national market share we had,” said Al White, head of the Colorado Tourism Office, which lost all financing in 1993 and did not regain a steady revenue stream until 2000. “It’s really difficult to affect market share positively, but it’s really easy to affect it negatively if you’re not out there.” – NY Times
“It’s a shortsighted way of thinking,” Cathy Keefe, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Travel Association, said of the cuts in Washington. “You have to be constantly reinforcing the message. If you don’t, people will forget about you. There’s always going to be someone who’s stepping in there to take over your market share.” – NY Times
Washington already has a problem with being confused with DC and being located in PNW it not in the mainstream’s eye all the time.
“People in the state’s tourism industry are puzzled why that amount would be cut, considering it helped to promote the state as a tourism destination that attracted more than $15 billion in 2010.” – Everett Herald
SO AM I.
“Tourism is the fourth-largest industry in the state, behind things like aerospace,” she said. “The WTA is already growing, and we need to continue to attract attention and membership as it takes shape. We’re in the midst of creating an industry-based tourism program and we’re already planning well ahead to make it successful.” – Everett Herald
“My reaction was ‘Those fools. Those dolts. Those idiots,’ Colorado Tourism Office director Al White told Reuters in an interview. “They should have learned from our mistakes.” – Reuters
With that all said and I am more frustrated that ever, where do we go from here? Personally, I am dedicated, more than ever, to share the beauty, the activities, and the events that Snohomish County and Washington State have to offer. If you’re visiting the for the first time here is a list of activities. Also see the Washington and Snohomish County categories.
Washington State Recreational Activities
- Baker Lake Camping & Recreation
- Snohomish County Day Hikes
- Historic Train Rides in Washington
- Zipline & Adventure Course in Woodinville
- Shellfishing and Crabbing in the Puget Sound
- Ski & Snowboard Stevens Pass Ski Resort
- Snowmobiling in Washington State