Faced with budget constraints and tough choices, Washington has become the first state to eliminate its tourism office as a result of the stubborn economy. State officials say the decision came down to cutting money from its advertising efforts or financing from public programs such as schools.
However, some warn that the state is making a mistake in cutting its tourism funds, especially as many others re-brand themselves through new marketing campaigns. Al White, head of the Colorado Tourism Office, said his state still hasn’t fully recovered since it went without funding 18 years ago in 1993.
The complete shutdown of the office follows years of deep budget cuts. The Washington State Tourism Office employed six people and had a $1.8 million budget in 2010. That was down sharply from $7 million the previous year.
Source: Bend Bulletin