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The original item was published from 3/11/2014 5:38:00 PM to 4/2/2014 12:10:00 AM.

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Posted on: March 11, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Join Us: Issaquah to Host Tourism Expert

The Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce – in coordination with the City of Issaquah and local hoteliers, restaurants and hometown attractions – is featuring world-renowned expert Roger Brooks in a community presentation on developing Issaquah’s tourism program.

The presentation will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 31 at the Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave N.W. in Issaquah. The public is invited, but registration is strongly encouraged to ensure a seat. Attendees can register online by March 28.

“We are excited for Roger to begin his work developing a business plan for Issaquah tourism,” said Matthew Bott, chief executive officer for the Chamber. “A strong tourism and community promotion initiative support our business districts, retailers, restaurants and hotels, as well as our tourism amenities and local nonprofit organizations.”

From his popular book, “Your Town: A Destination,” Brooks will cover the major rules and best practices on all aspects of how communities of our size – and Issaquah specifically – can plan, coordinate and enhance its community promotion results. Entertaining and insightful, the presentation will provide attendees with information on the goals of improved tourism promotion and what we can expect in return from an improved focus on this area of economic vitality.

“Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in Washington State, and it is time for Issaquah to get its share of these resources,” Brooks said.

The Chamber’s tourism committee – which includes Issaquah attractions such at the Village Theatre, the Historical Society, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Boehm’s Chocolates, artEAST, restaurants, hotels and outdoor recreation leaders – has been developing a stronger and more collaborative tourism infrastructure for the past several years.

“Tourism promotion is not only about bringing new customers to our businesses, but it is also the gateway for residential relocation and business recruitment efforts,” Bott said. “Having a plan for this work will be important to Issaquah’s future, and we are thrilled with the City/Chamber partnership on this work.”

Brooks is one of America’s most sought-after destination development and community promotion experts, helping communities of all sizes improve their share of tourism and visitor dollars and improved branding/marketing.

"I have seen Brooks present before and he is extremely engaging,” said Keith Niven, the City’s Economic Development Department director. “He has done work in Whistler, Ocean Shores and countless other places. We are lucky to have such world-renowned expertise working to help our local tourism industry.”

Brooks – who was hired by a partnership between the Chamber, City and Lodging Tax Advisory Committee – will develop a business plan for Issaquah tourism. This presentation is a part of his work, and will serve as a kickoff for his stakeholder outreach and research, which will take place over the next four months. The final tourism business plan will be delivered to the community this summer.

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