TOURISM INDUSTRY NEWS & RESOURCES
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.
November 24, 2020
This week we generally gather together to give thanks for the tremendous bounty we enjoy as residents of Sonoma County and of the collective Sonoma County family. While this holiday is vastly different, it remains a perfect time for us to celebrate each other. We cannot thank our partners enough for all that’s been done to continue to engage customers during the pandemic. We so want to throw our arms around our small business owners to empathize with the incredible hardships endured during this year. And, to our hoteliers, bed and breakfast owners, vacation rental owners and managers, and all of you who work 24/7 to generate revenue for this county – we are and will continue to be your champions… no matter what the future may bring or obstacles that come our way.

Cheers to a lovely holiday for you and yours.  
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
707-522-5804
Announcing Tripadvisor Partner Education Session
Sonoma County Tourism is pleased to announce its next Partner Education Session, focusing on the world's largest travel platform, Tripadvisor.

Join us on Wed, December 9 at 9:30 a.m. for an hourlong conversation with Tripadvisor representative Todd Skelton, who will be presenting valuable information on how to best utilize your free listing. Additionally, Skelton will discuss recent travel trends and provide an overview of the Travel Safe Initiative for businesses to promote safety measures to create stronger consumer confidence with travelers.

Admission to this virtual session is free, but registration is required.
If you have any Tripadvisor questions you would like addressed during the meeting, you are welcome to send them in advance to dmcconnell@sonomacounty.com
Sonoma County Tourism Hours of Operation Project
As we head into the colder months, and COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, we recognize that many of our wineries, breweries, distilleries, and restaurants may need to adjust hours and offerings. Getting this information out into the local community, and to our hotel partners and CVB’s who make recommendations to our visitors, can be difficult. In an effort to find a solution to this new COVID-19 related challenge, we are creating an area on the Sonoma County Tourism website that will provide this information.   

By completing our very brief questionnaire your business will be included on the list which will remain active throughout the fall and winter months. 

After the initial survey is completed, participating businesses will be sent a weekly email to provide updates as needed. If there is no change, no further action will be necessary, and your business will remain on the list. If at any time you adjust your hours between now and spring, simply use the link provided in the weekly email to update your information.

In our effort to support you during the challenging months ahead, we have tried to make it easy as possible for you to add your information and appreciate you taking the time to participate.

Questionnaire for restaurant partners

Questionnaire for beverage partners
Community Mitigation Fliers & Best Practices
Sonoma County Vintners recently unveiled new COVID-19 mitigation fliers available for distribution within the community. The filers join SCV’s previously released Community Mitigation Best Practices. The purpose of these resources is to help provide information and best practices to educate and assist community members on the challenges associated with COVID-19 and provide guidance concerning daily behaviors, operations, and lifestyle recommendations outside of their specific work environments.

The fliers and best practices are available to access at sonomawine.com/community.
Sonoma County Accolades
Sonoma County Among Top 21 Destinations for 2021

Forbes recently named Sonoma County as one of its top 10 bucket list travel destinations. Interestingly, Sonoma County is one of only seven U.S. destinations to make the list of 21 places to visit in 2021. The list was compiled by Ovation Travel Group agents based on advance sales and client aspirations.
Good Food Awards Winners & Finalists

A number of Sonoma County artisans have been nominated for Good Food Awards. Winners will be announced on Friday, January 22 in a virtual Awards Ceremony broadcast across the country that offers a behind-the-scenes look inside kitchens and farms. Our congratulations go out to: Young & Yonder Spirits, FARM Chocolate, Goat Rock Cider Company, Laura Chenel, Little Apple Treats, Preserve Farm Kitchens, Rustic Bakery, Spirit Works Distillery, Swayne Family Ranch, Seismic Brewing Company, Bellwether Farms, Cowgirl Creamery, and Ethic Ciders.
STS Airport Health Accreditation

Sonoma County Tourism extends its congratulations to Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) for being one of the first 12 airports in the U.S. to receive the Airport Health Accreditation from the Airports Council International. STS is one of just three airports in the Western United States to earn this recognition.
U.S. Travel Association Priorities for early 2021 and Beyond
In addition to their continued push for economic stimulus relief, the U.S. Travel Association has been laying the groundwork with the new administration and 117th Congress for important work next year and beyond. During U.S. Travel’s recent Board of Directors meeting, the association unveiled a document focusing on the organization’s priorities for the first 100 days of President-elect Biden’s administration while also outlining the focus of its advocacy work for the next several years. The document was shared with the Biden transition team and includes the following recommendations:

  • Support the passage of a COVID-19 Relief Bill in 2020

  • Enact economic stimulus measures to boost travel demand

  • Develop science-driven, risk-based health and safety guidance that enables domestic travel, large meetings, events and conferences to resume

  • Safely reopen international travel through a science-drive, risk-based approach to testing

  • Create a new Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism position at the U.S. Department of Commerce

  • Invest in the future of travel mobility and infrastructure

You can view the full document on the U.S. Travel website here.
U.S. Travel Wants You to Share Your Gratitude for Masks
The U.S. Travel Association would like your help in encouraging Americans to commit to wearing a mask this holiday season to keep their community and loved ones safe. You can access U.S. Travel’s new Thanksgiving-themed #TravelConfidently graphics here
Loan Program for Small Businesses
The California Rebuilding Fund is now accepting pre-applications for its loan program designed to support California’s small businesses—especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas of the state.

Businesses who employed 50 or less full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible to apply.

The loans are flexible, transparent and are designed to help businesses access the capital and advisory services they need to get through these challenging economic times.

Please note, this program is not associated with the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or any other SBA program. The loans are not forgivable in part or whole. The loans will need to be paid back over a 3- or 5-year term with a fixed annual interest rate that is currently 4.25%.

Click here to learn more. 
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.