In Washington State, Spokane CVB Organizes 'Meetings Mean Business' Rally

In support of the Meetings Mean Business campaign that was launched last week by the U.S. Travel Association, the Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau organized a rally Friday in downtown Spokane, Wash. Attended by more than 200 elected officials, business owners and hospitality employees, the rally was broadcast live online at KHQ.com, the Web site for Spokane's NBC affiliate.

Among those present at the rally—the purpose of which was to call attention to Spokane's meetings industry, which generated $198.4 million in economic impact for Spokane County last year—were Spokane Mayor Mary Verner, Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard and local business owner Deena Caruso, who joined Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Harry Sladich and Spokane Public Facilities District Executive Director Kevin Twohig in decrying Congress and the media for their recent attacks on corporate meetings and events.

This week, members of the Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau's sales team are in Washington, D.C., where they're hoping to persuade some of the nation's largest associations to take their conventions to Spokane.

Additionally, Spokane tourism officials have partnered with their counterparts at the Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau to introduce a new Web site, www.WhyTourismMatters.com. Launched today, the new site features tourism ambassadors from across Washington state as part of a statewide public education and awareness campaign.