BILL REQ. #:  S-0289.1 


State of Washington59th Legislature2005 Regular Session

By Senators Jacobsen, Oke, Kline, Parlette, Fraser and Shin

Read first time 01/10/2005.   Referred to Committee on Natural Resources, Ocean & Recreation.

     AN ACT Relating to nature-based tourism; amending RCW 67.28.080; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that nature-based tourism is the fastest growing outdoor activity and the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry. Tourism activities relating to watchable wildlife contribute more than one billion dollars to the state's economy per year, and it is primarily the rural areas of the state in which these activities occur.
     The legislature further finds that there is general agreement among the hospitality industry, tourism interests, local governments, and watchable wildlife organizations that owners of working farms, woodlands, and rural open space lands provide a significant portion of the key areas for the wildlife which in turn attract the nature-based tourists. While tourism promotion interests seek to provide incentives to these landowners to maintain these key areas in a manner that benefits wildlife, and to assist them in managing the tourists that seek to appreciate this wildlife, there is a need to ensure flexibility in existing tourism promotion programs to provide this assistance.
     Therefore it is the purpose of this act to clarify that the existing program for distribution of lodging tax revenues to promote tourism and to acquire, develop, and operate tourist facilities may include assistance to private landowners for this purpose, consistent with existing local strategies and priorities for tourism promotion.

Sec. 2   RCW 67.28.080 and 1997 c 452 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
     The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
     (1) "Acquisition" includes, but is not limited to, siting, acquisition, design, construction, refurbishing, expansion, repair, and improvement, including paying or securing the payment of all or any portion of general obligation bonds, leases, revenue bonds, or other obligations issued or incurred for such purpose or purposes under this chapter.
     (2) "Municipality" means any county, city, or town of the state of Washington.
     (3) "Operation" includes, but is not limited to, operation, management, and marketing.
     (4) "Person" means the federal government or any agency thereof, the state or any agency, subdivision, taxing district or municipal corporation thereof other than county, city or town, any private corporation, partnership, association, or individual.
     (5) "Tourism" means economic activity resulting from tourists, which may include sales of overnight lodging, meals, tours, gifts, or souvenirs.
     (6) "Tourism promotion" ((means)) includes activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; operating tourism promotion agencies; and funding marketing of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists. "Tourism promotion" also includes expenditures to owners of farms, forests, and open lands for habitat management that promote wildlife tourism.
     (7) "Tourism-related facility" means real or tangible personal property with a usable life of three or more years, or constructed with volunteer labor, and used to support tourism, performing arts, or to accommodate tourist activities.
     (8) "Tourist" means a person who travels from a place of residence to a different town, city, county, state, or country, for purposes of business, pleasure, recreation, education, arts, heritage, or culture.

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