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.
January 20, 2021
Today we inaugurated a new president. It marked a consequential day for all of us, but as we represent the tourism industry, it provided a hopeful path forward. Roger Dow, president/CEO of the U.S. Travel Association provided these insights: “President Biden is acutely aware of the economic pain the pandemic has inflicted on our industry and its workforce, and we are encouraged by the administration’s focus on providing additional, direct relief to businesses in the hardest-hit industries. Travel supported one in 10 jobs prior to the pandemic, powering the economy and providing jobs in urban and rural communities alike. It is well within reach to return America to the record growth the travel industry experienced prior to the pandemic through national strategies that will revive the American economy, shorten the recovery, and help unite a divided nation as travel is uniquely equipped to do.”

Travel and tourism has a long history of bringing economies out of challenges and this will be no different. If given the resources and opportunities, our industry will propel Sonoma County forward toward a stronger, more resilient future. We also will be that bridge where people from diverse backgrounds can learn, experience and grow. Today, is a day to herald the collective power of our global family and the transformational nature of tourism to heal, educate and celebrate. As the survey below makes clear, we need to start our recovery as quickly as possible.
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
707-522-5804
Results from Recent Survey
Sonoma County Tourism sent out a survey on January 7 in an effort to measure the health of local hospitality and tourism facing businesses.
Based on 147 responses:

If Sonoma County does not see reduced COVID transmission rates and a loosening of restrictions, businesses cannot survive beyond:

  • 0-1  month = 10.20%
  • 2-3 months = 22.45%
  • 3-6 months = 22.45%
  • 6-12 months = 21.09%
  • 23.81% indicated their business is economically stable for the foreseeable future.
Based on 132 responses:

An average on 51% of businesses’ workforce have had to be furloughed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting restrictions.

Based on 101 responses:

An average on 34% of businesses’ workforce have had to be permanently laid off.

Based on 146 responses:

80.82% have taken advantage of a stimulus program, with the Paycheck Protection Program being the most utilized.
Thank you again to everyone who took the time to fill out this survey. Particularly the thoughtful and enlightening written responses. This data will be helpful in keeping stakeholders and policy makers informed of the current economic situation for our local industry. 
Sonoma County Restaurant Week
The Sonoma County Economic Development Board invites eateries to participate in the 12th annual Sonoma County Restaurant Week, running February 19-28.

A new Sonoma County Restaurant Week website will launch at the end of this month to provide customers with a seamless experience where they can filter by price, location, and offerings. The website will also include features to add direct links to online ordering and gift card purchases.

Restaurant Week will also be eliminating set price points for this year. Participating restaurants are still welcome to provide a special menu and take out options, but the EDB did not feel it was appropriate to constrain restaurants to a fixed price point given the current climate.

In 2020, Restaurant Week generated $6.37 million in restaurant revenue and local taxes for Sonoma County. We hope you will consider taking advantage of this great opportunity to encourage our local community to support Sonoma County restaurants.

To register for Restaurant Week 2021, please complete the form found hereIf you have any questions, please contact the project coordinator, Samantha Eves, at RestaurantWeek@sonoma-county.org
Sonoma County Wine Industry Night
The Taste Route 116 winery group, in sponsorship by vLiveCast, will be hosting a Sonoma County Wine Industry Night on Thursday, January 21 at 4 p.m. The virtual event will utilize a new interactive platform allowing for greater flexibility in connecting with participants.

Representatives from The Wine Road, Sonoma County Tourism, Sonoma County Vintners, and Taste Route 116 will provide status updates for their plans as the wine industry gears up for 2021 with all the changes it may hold. Participants will be able to enter video chat sessions to discuss what has been working, what has not, and what their plans are for this new year.

This unique virtual gathering will enable industries from wine, beverage, and hospitality to converge to collaborate and help one another continue to be successful in the face of pandemic restrictions in 2021.

The event is free to attend for wine industry professionals, as well as those in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries. Registration is required and can be accessed here.
National Plan for Vacation Day

We are just under a week away from National Plan for Vacation Day on January 26. Thousands of organizations join this annual, nationwide event to encourage Americans to commit their PTO for the year ahead and provide inspiration as they plan how to spend them. Throughout the day, destinations, media, brands, influencers, and more share ideas and deals for future getaways to inspire Americans to start dreaming.

The U.S. Travel Association has put together a toolkit, accessible here, with a helpful fact sheet, social media graphics, and additional resources to help celebrate this important day for our industry.
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.