Saturday will mark the effective date of the formal merger between the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association, officially forming the Washington Hospitality Association.

The two have been operating as one for quite some time. On Oct. 1, 2015, the groups began operations under a joint operating agreement, combining staff and operational functions, with Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Restaurant Association, helming the new entity.

In July, the boards of directors of both associations approved a formal merger into the Washington Hospitality Association, effective Oct. 1, 2016.

The WHA will be one of the largest industry-focused associations in the state, with more than 6,000 members and advocating on behalf of an industry that generates $17.7 billion in revenue annually.

A celebration to mark the merger will be held on Tuesday.