New Tri-Cities Tourism Site Could Cost $130,000 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Tri-Cities Tourism Site Could Cost $130,000

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Monday night the Pasco city council approved the budget for reserve tourism funding to go towards a new web site for the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau. The total cost is estimated over $130,000. Monday night the Pasco city council approved the budget for reserve tourism funding to go towards a new web site for the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau. The total cost is estimated over $130,000.

NBCRightNow.com - The Tri-Cities is a destination for a decent number of tourists, but the local visitor and convention bureau is constantly working to create bigger numbers.

In order to do that they need to spend money and as NBC Right Now discovered, a costly new web site is all part of that work.

Monday night the Pasco city council approved the budget for reserve tourism funding to go towards a new web site for the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau. The total cost is estimated over $130,000.

In 2011 after the state of Washington eliminated its tourism office, making it the only state not to fund one, regional tourism bureaus were left without major funding. Compare the nearly $500,000 a year from our state put into tourism to the tens of millions that surrounding states spend and you may start to see why the Tri-Cities needs to brand itself as a commodity all its own.

According to Kris Watkins, President and CEO of the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau, that new upgraded web site is all part of the re-branding. Their current site was created back in 2005.

"We just want to keep up with the latest technology and after all the Tri-Cities is known for technology and recreations and we want to make sure that when we have a site like that that so many people are coming to that it's the latest," explained Watkins.

In October a bill passed raising a nightly hotel tax from $1.50 to $2. That is where the $130,000 is coming from; paid for by a tax the hotels chose to place on themselves and their customers. It is not coming out of your pocket unless you stay in local a hotel. While the tax looks like a lot to build a web site on paper, the visitor bureau says we need it.

The cities of Kennewick and Richland will still have to pass the funding in their city council meetings.

 

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