Dipra Jha, scholarly associate professor and assistant director of the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management, has been elected to the Washington Tourism Alliance’s Board of Directors.

The WTA board unanimously voted to approve his nomination to the board for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2021. WTA is a membership-based nonprofit organization responsible for promoting the state of Washington as a safe, enjoyable, and high-quality destination to domestic and international visitors.

“We are delighted to have Professor Jha join the WTA Board,” said David Blandford, WTA executive director. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in destination development and tourism planning, and we look forward to forging a closer relationship between Washington’s land-grant university and the tourism industry.”

Jha is recognized as an expert in luxury hospitality and tourism strategy. His past collaborations with tourism-related entities include the Nebraska Tourism Commission, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project, and Nebraska Association of Bed & Breakfast, among others. He has served as an evaluator on state-level tourism marketing grant committees and delivered multiple invited presentations at industry events such as the Upper Midwest Convention & Visitors Bureau conference and the Plains Safaris ecotourism event.

“I am humbled by the invitation to join the WTA board and excited to contribute to WTA’s efforts in marketing Washington as a premier travel destination,” said Jha.

Board participation translates to classroom enrichment, internships and jobs

He said he plans to bring insights back into the classroom, help students engage with the tourism industry in the Pacific Northwest, and hopefully inspire them to consider a career in this diverse field.

“This outreach will increase the WSU Carson College of Business’s opportunity to interface with tourism businesses, convention and visitors bureaus, and create pathways for internships and job placements for WSU students,” he said.

Tourism is Washington’s fourth largest industry, generating $21.4 billion in annual spending and contributing $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. Every county in the state benefits from the tourism sector. Statewide, 182,700 workers are employed in tourism-related businesses.

The School of Hospitality Business Management, one of the oldest in the country, offers bachelor of arts degrees in hospitality business management, wine and beverage business management, and senior living management through its campuses in Pullman, Everett, Tri Cities and Vancouver and Global Campus.