KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Washington state tourism is getting a much needed boost in funding.
State lawmakers allocated $1 million for the Washington Tourism Alliance in the latest budget.
This money is just what the tourism alliance needed.
Since the state tourism office closed in 2011, the Washington Tourism Alliance is taking on all the marketing work to attract visitors to the Northwest.
Washington is the only state in the nation without a state supported tourism marketing program.
For every dollar the state gives, the industry will have to match it for the next two years.
The Tri-Cities Visitors and Convention Bureau is confident that the industry will meet this match and the new funding marks a key milestone in the state's efforts to draw more visitors.
"Destination marketing organizations and small businesses throughout the state of Washington to help WTA be successful. So this million dollars is a boost over the next couple years but it's definitely going to be dollars that are well earned."
Other western states invest up to $60 million tourism marketing.
Tourism is Washington's fourth largest industry and supporters hope this funding is just the beginning of more to come.