County one step closer to establishing Tourism Promotion Area
Friday, June 12, 2020
MOUNT VERNON -- Skagit County is one step closer to establishing its long-awaited Tourism Promotion Area (TPA), creating and funding a new marketing effort to promote Skagit County worldwide as a travel destination.
The latest step forward in the creation of the TPA came June 8 when the County Commissioners signed an interlocal agreement to establish the TPA, which had previously been signed by all four cities and four towns in Skagit County.
Eligible Skagit County lodging businesses have petitioned according to state law to use a new $2 per-night fee to fund the creation of a Skagit County destination marketing organization.
The new organization created through this funding would market the region to new and wider audiences to bring visitors from all over the world to enjoy Skagit County. Currently, there isn’t an entity promoting all of Skagit County as a tourism destination, said EDASC CEO John Sternlicht, and the State of Washington went many years with no equivalent statewide marketing effort.
“It’s everyone for him or herself, and that’s not an economically efficient way to promote Skagit County,” he said. “Tourism promotion, or destination marketing, is part of promoting a region for economic development purposes, but to a decidedly different audience with a very different message.”
The boost in tourism generated through the TPA would have positive impacts on Skagit County, including generating local taxes and drawing talented people to visit and even work here.
The next required step in the process is a Skagit County Commissioners (online) public hearing at 11 a.m. June 29, followed by an interim period where the county will be responsible for educating lodging businesses on the implementation of the $2 per-night fee.