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.
March 3, 2021
It’s hard to believe Spring is upon us and that we’ve been at some level of shelter-in-place, work-from-home, meet-via-Zoom, etc. living for a year. While we’ve seen our industry rise to the occasion, showcase creative engagement and find the incredible in the mundane day-to-day challenges, it’s time we move forward. We know travelers are ready to have “Life Opens Up” vacations, reengage with family and friends and as Visit California calls them “What If” experiences. We’re seeing our neighboring counties progress more quickly and as is pointed out below – right now, it’s all about testing. So, please heed this request to continue to get tested. Tests have become easier and less invasive than before, so check out the places that offer the kinds of testing you feel comfortable. Let’s bring Sonoma County back!
Claudia Vecchio
President and CEO
Sonoma County Tourism
The Importance of Testing to Move out of Purple
The County of Sonoma’s key message regarding reopening is to continue to push testing. Knowing your status helps you protect yourself and others, reduces transmission, and moves Sonoma County closer to getting people back to work and school.

Currently, Sonoma County can conduct over 3,000 tests per day through county and state operated testing sites, as well as testing conducted by local health care partners. Unfortunately, only about 400 people per day are electing to get tested. If Sonoma Countians were tested at the same levels as last fall (around 650-700 people a day) that would be enough to move Sonoma County out of the widespread/purple tier.

To find local testing sites open seven days a week, please click here. And check out the County of Sonoma’s pop-up testing calendar for times and locations here
SCHA Annual Meeting
Join the Sonoma County Hospitality Association (via Zoom) on Friday, March 12 at 11 a.m. for its yearly annual meeting. This inspiring hour will provide information and strategies for the year ahead, along with SCHA updates. Special guests will include Senator Mike McGuire, digital marketing consultant Shana Bull, and journalist Matt Villano.

Admission is free for SCHA members and $25 for non-members. Learn more and register here
Travel Stimulus Bill
Last week, a bipartisan group in Congress reintroduced the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021. This pivotal bill would help drive critical demand to bring back jobs and create stimulus for the convention, trade show, entertainment, travel, and hospitality industries and their workers.

Measures in the bill include a temporary business tax credit to revitalize business meetings/conferences, tax relief for restaurants and food and beverage companies, and an individual tax credit to stimulate nonbusiness travel. 

The U.S. Travel Association worked closely with congressional leaders to develop the majority of the bill, and continue to push for its passage. To learn more about U.S. Travel’s efforts with this measure, click here.
April is Sonoma County Wine Month
Sonoma County Wine Month, traditionally recognized in October, is moving up to spring for 2021! The incredible team at Sonoma County Vintners is working hard to encourage consumers to keep Sonoma County wines top of mind for the month of April and beyond. Sonoma County Vintners members will be provided with opportunities and resources to capitalize on this great promotional effort.

To learn more about Sonoma County Wine Month, reach out to
A Salute to Maureen Cottingham
Sonoma County Tourism would like a take a moment to celebrate the wonderful work of Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance’s Maureen Cottingham. As the longtime executive director of SVVGA, Maureen has masterfully led an organization that is responsible for raising over $25 million for children’s literacy programs and non-profits in Sonoma Valley.

Maureen's leadership has deftly guided the vintners and winegrowers of Sonoma Valley through numerous periods of crisis, providing critical response and support during the Sonoma County wildfires, PSPS events, and most recently the global pandemic. With the recent announcement of Maureen stepping down from her role with SVVGA to take on a new adventure managing her family’s multi-generation avocado and lemon farm, SCT raises a glass (of Sonoma Valley wine) to toast her momentous legacy. 
Adorableness Alert
On February 13, Safari West welcomed a new baby giraffe to its Sonoma Serengeti. The 6 ft., 130 lbs. calf, named Ollie, joins a corps of giraffes at Safari West that have served as ambassadors for their species for decades, educating tens of thousands of visitors every year. SCT extends a tall congratulations to Safari West on its latest ambassador. We’ve no doubt Ollie will continue Safari West’s proud tradition of inspiring future generations of conservationists. 
Special Election Results for West County
Yesterday was election day for two west county ballot measures. Measure A, a West Sonoma County Union High School District Parcel Tax, required a 2/3 vote (or 66%) to pass. With 100% of precincts reporting in, and only 55.25% of voters having cast their ballot in favor of the measure, the parcel tax will not go through.

Measure B, a County of Sonoma proposed Transient Occupancy Tax, also required a 2/3 vote to pass. Although closer than Measure A, voters appear to have rejected this tax as well, with 100% of precincts reporting in, and only 60.21% having voted in favor.

The Sonoma West Times & News have the results of the election viewable 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.