This partner communication exists to provide timely information on Sonoma County’s tourism and hospitality industry, along with resources to help partners navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
July 1, 2020
As we enter into what is (usually) a big holiday week, especially with the 4th of July landing on a Saturday, our great thanks to all who have posted the Safe Travels Promise. We stand alongside our elected officials and county-wide industry partners in wholeheartedly believing Sonoma County can be enjoyed responsibly and respectfully. We have also developed a Mask Required sign that can be downloaded and that matches the Promise graphics. 

Warm wishes to you all for a safe and happy Independence Day holiday weekend.
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
Tougher restrictions announced for much of the state

Governor Newsom announced today tougher restrictions for 19 counties on the state’s Watch List. These counties have been ordered to suspend indoor restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos, museums, and card rooms for at least the next three weeks.

Additionally, Newsom announced the closure of parking lots at state beaches, including Sonoma County.

To be clear, Sonoma County is NOT one of the 19 counties currently on the state’s Watch List.

Sonoma County’s health officer, Dr. Mase did express concern on Monday about the local spike in new cases, which is bringing Sonoma County close to 100 cases per 100,000 residents, the threshold that would likely put the county on the state’s Watch List.

Sonoma County Tourism will continue to monitor case growth, along with hospitalization rates and other indicators. 

You can read more about the Governor’s latest update via The Press Democrat here
Clarification on seating restriction

We’ve received a few inquiries concerning seating restrictions listed in a previous county health order.

The order in question limited seating for restaurants, bars, and wineries to 10 people per table, and required the entire party to be present before seating.

The limit from the prior local order is no longer in effect. Instead, businesses should follow the state-issued guidance , which does not place a cap on the number of people at one table.
Visit California’s Responsible Travel Code

Visit California has released a toolkit in support of its new Responsible Travel Code . The code asks visitors to explore California thoughtfully and responsibly, while keeping safety top of mind. The toolkit (accessible here ) contains talking points that explain the importance of the code, a sample statement of support that can be customized to your business, a downloadable printed display of the code and digital screen signage, plus ready-to-use social posts, graphics, and logos.

Additionally, Sonoma County has its very own Safe Travels Promise and Keep Safe seal available for your use. 
Americart 2019 now streaming

A new documentary, which explores art and artists in 10 destinations, including Sonoma County, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video . In addition to featuring interviews with Sonoma County artists, the documentarians met with Walter Byck to discuss Paradise Ridge Winery’s sculpture garden. 

You can watch the trailer, rent, or buy “Americart 2019” on Amazon Prime Video here
Growing support for additional EDA funding

As reported by the U.S. Travel Association , this week 16 senators signed a letter to congressional leadership requesting additional funding for the Economic Development Administration, in part to support recovery efforts to tourism-dependent communities.

“Tourism is one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy and a top economic driver in each of our states and the EDA provides an efficient means to distribute funds given the agency’s existing authority to support this industry. Organizations such as destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are vital to ensuring the best transmission of information on travel opportunities that are available, and how those locations and situations will be different, and safe, in the times ahead.”

You can view the full text of the letter here
Upcoming July 9 webinars

Thursday, July 9 is a big day for webinars. Here are three we wanted to put on your radar:

The Sonoma County Hospitality Association is hosting a webinar on Delivering Outstanding Hospitality in the New Landscape on July 9 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The webinar (free for SCHA members and $25 for non-members) discusses ways to engage customers from behind a mask and covers means of compensating for those missing visual cues. It will also explore how to deliver great service through plexiglass and other new protocols, along with how to manage guests who disagree with those protocols. Register here .

The Napa Sonoma SBDC is hosting a webinar on Retail and Restaurant Lease Negotiations During COVID-19 on July 9 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. The no fee webinar will share the latest updates to the legal landscape and additional strategies that landlords and tenants need to know. Register here .

MMGY Travel Intelligence and Enlightn will be providing an exclusive look at the new consumer research study, Cannabis Tourism: Opportunities, Issues & Strategies on July 9 at 10 a.m. The webinar will be led by Chris Davidson, EVP of Strategy & Insights at MMGY Travel Intelligence, and Brian Applegarth, President of Enlightn Strategies, as they share data that profiles the cannabis-interested traveler, rate the appeal of various cannabis experiences on vacation, and reveal the travel and booking behaviors of the recreational cannabis traveler. Lean more and register here
Still welcoming special offers

A critical component of our current campaign is highlighting the Special Offers from our partners.

Traffic is directed to the offers page through promotional efforts and can result in valuable exposure through our social media channels and our monthly consumer newsletter.

Visitors are looking for exciting experiences only to be found in Sonoma County. Examples include unique tastings at a winery or brewery, or special tours, hikes, or wildflower walks.

These special offers do not have to be discounted but could be value-added offers, including packages with other Sonoma County businesses, such as:
  • Mid-week, two-night stay with the third night free
  • Free breakfast for two with a three-night stay
  • Exclusive tour/tasting with the winemaker, master brewer, executive chef, etc.
  • Partner with another business to include private transportation or a wine tasting voucher with 2-night stay

Please submit your offer through the partner extranet and make offers valid through August 31, 2020. See details on how to submit special offers here

Sonoma County Tourism  has a Coronavirus Partner Toolkit regularly updated  here.

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has compiled a comprehensive list of local, state, and government resources (including financing options) for businesses at their SoCo Launch website here .

Get tested  and help Sonoma County eliminate the coronavirus. Broad COVID-19 viral testing is now available. Learn more  here.

The  County of Sonoma’s  SoCo Emergency webpage  offers COVID-19 resources, support, and information.