Tacoma renews $700K tourism contract

Tacoma City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a two-year, $700,000 contract with the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau to provide services that advance the city’s convention and tourism industry. The contract, which calls for $350,000 to be  paid this year, and $350,000 to be paid in 2012, will be financed through the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center’s (GTCTC) marketing fund.

According to Carmen McIntyre, director of sales and marking at GTCTC and Mike Combs, Tacoma’s director of public assembly facilities, the money will be used specifically to “market Tacoma as a destination city, promote conference and tourism business for Tacoma and Pierce County, increase the number of tours and visitors to Tacoma, market locations within Tacoma to film scouts, and develop effective media relationships to stimulate the convention and tourism industry.”

“During these tough economic times, tourism and hotel stays are essential to our city,” said McIntyre. “The tourism dollars are extremely important for our economy.”

Mark Van Cooney, general manager of Hotel Murano, spoke in support of the resolution. “On behalf of the tourism members here of the Tacoma visitors bureau, we’re requesting you approve [the resolution],” said Van Cooney, who spoke before council voted on the item. “The economic impact is felt by hotels, businesses and restaurants in Tacoma. It generated $6.6 million over the last two years in spending in Tacoma. What makes Tacoma a great place to visit also makes it a great place to live.”

Tacoma spent the same amount of money on a similar contract during the last biennium.