The Washington State Department of Commerce has awarded a five-year contract to the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) to provide tourism marketing services.

A membership-based organization that was created after the Washington State Tourism Office closed in 2011, WTA aims to advocate, develop, promote, and sustain the economic well-being of the Washington tourism industry, according to state officials. The organization also administers and procures funds for state destination tourism marketing activities and creates and implements a strategic statewide destination marketing plan.

Creating programs that help rural, tourism-dependent communities is of particular interest to the WTA.

“With so many incredible cultural and recreational opportunities throughout the state, tourism is a key economic driver for many rural communities,” said Robb Zerr, managing director for rural and marketing services at the Washington State Department of Commerce. “This investment in targeted marketing programs will help strengthen communities by encouraging visits to some of Washington’s most unique and beautiful places.”

“Fortunately, WTA and the tourism industry have coalesced around advocacy during the past seven years, and the strength of those relationships is key now as we reach out to partner on collaborative marketing programs, foster corporate investment, and attract in-kind support,” added WTA co-chair David Blandford.

More information about the WTA is available online here.