SEATTLE (April 6, 2022)—Washington lawmakers passed a bill to create a Washington wine specialty license plate to help fund state tourism efforts. The Washington Wine Institute, in partnership with the Washington State Wine Commission, worked directly with prime sponsor Rep. Kelly Chambers (R-Puyallup), and lawmakers in Olympia this session to pass House Bill 1530. Revenue generated from the specialty license plates will go to State of Washington Tourism, the state’s official Destination Marketing Organization.
“The Washington wine license plate honors Washington’s world-renowned wine producers and delivers much needed funding to the tourism industry, which helps to bring visitors to every corner of this beautiful state,” said Rep. Kelly Chambers.
The specialty license plate will cost $40 for an original and $30 for a renewed plate. Demand is expected to be high, as over 4,000 Washingtonians signed a petition in support of a Washington wine license plate.
“The petition was crucial in getting this bill passed,” said Josh McDonald, Executive Director of the Washington Wine Institute. “We are so proud to have worked alongside state legislative leaders Rep. Chambers, House Transportation Committee Chair Jake Fey, Senate Transportation Committee Marko Liias, and fellow tourism industry leaders to secure this bill’s passage. We hope every WA wine enthusiast is prepared to order their brand new WA wine specialty license plate this fall!”
The Washington wine industry accounts for $8B in-state economic impact including nearly 40,000 related jobs and more than $2B in wine revenue. In 2019, an estimated 2.7 million people visited wineries across the state. State of Washington Tourism is a membership-based nonprofit organization that was established after the closure of the Washington State Tourism Office in 2011. The organization supports broad tourism economy.
“We’re thrilled to see an official license plate celebrating our state’s great wine industry,” said Steve Warner, President of the Washington State Wine Commission. “Wine is a major tourism driver for our state, and the sole purpose of State of Washington Tourism is marketing Washington to tourists, so they couldn’t be a more perfect recipient of the specialty plate revenue.”
The license plate design is currently being finalized. It will be available for Washington residents to order beginning this fall.
About the Washington Wine Institute:
WWI is the vocal, active, visible advocate and champion of the Washington State wine industry in Olympia and Washington D.C. To propel the industry’s growth, the Washington State Wine Institute acts as the unified voice to seek out and encourage opportunities which enhance the business environment for the Washington State wine industry through proactive government relations in Olympia and Washington, D.C. www.wwi.wine.
About the Washington State Wine Commission:
The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSWC provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness about the Washington wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSWC is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.
Josh McDonald, Washington Wine Institute
(253) 228-1590 / [email protected]
Heather Bradshaw, Washington State Wine Commission
(206) 495-5844 / [email protected]
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