January 14, 2021
Welcome to Tourism Talk.

We're here to help—here's what's in this issue:

  • Healthy Washington Plan, New Reopening Guides & Vaccine Alerts
  • The New State Legislative Session - Get Involved
  • Industry Expert Holding Two Meetings for Our Destination
  • Current Traveler Sentiment Research from Destination Analysts
  • Industry, Local, & Member News Along With Blogs to Share From Our Website
Per Washington State’s Healthy Washington Plan that went into effect on Jan 11, 2021, Whatcom County is currently designated as the NORTH region, and is currently in Phase One. Please note the chart below for restrictions in place.

The Healthy Washington plan is based on 4 criteria that are evaluated each week:

  • 10% decreasing trend in case rates
  • 10% decrease in coronavirus hospital admission rates
  • ICU occupancy that’s less than 90%
  • Test positivity rate that’s less than 10%

And a report is sent out designating phases by region for the following week. Here is the most recent report: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/data-tables/421-006-RoadmapToRecovery1-8-2021.pdf
COVID-19 Reopening Guidance Page
Find updated guidelines from the new Healthy Washington Plan here: References and Requirements

That page on Governor Inslee's site contains details of the new requirements for a wide variety of businesses—from taverns to pet grooming—and has a new statement on outdoor and open-air seating.
Vaccine Information Notification List and Sharable Image
Whatcom County Health Department invites you to share this image above on social media or in your own email campaigns, directing businesses to get signed up for alerts.
2021 Legislative Priorities
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism facilitated a live, virtual meeting with San Juan and Whatcom County industry representatives and legislative assistants on January 7, 2021. The goal was to discuss the legistlative priorities before the session began. There were 61 attendees from both counties.

View the Washington State Destination Marketing Organization Association's 2021 Legislative Priorities pdf here.

Have questions? Ask Sandy@Bellingham.org.
Get Involved - How to Submit Comments
or Testify with 2021 State Legislature
MAIN WEBSITE – Find and follow legislation at www.leg.wa.gov

Portals for remote testimony are available online for the state House and Senate.

Visitors to those portals can find their bill of interest by choosing the committee and meeting time when it’s scheduled for a hearing. After selecting a bill, three options are available: to submit written testimony, testify live, or simply note your position for the legislative record.

People who want to testify live will be sent a unique Zoom link they can use to participate via video or just audio. Committee chairs will decide the order and length of public testimony, according to plans.

Thanks to the Bellingham Herald for an in-depth look at this process (requires subscription): https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/state/washington/article248374160.html#storylink=cpy
Cheryl Hargrove will be talking about how Cultural Heritage Tourism fits into COVID-19 economic recovery and assisting us with how to support and organize our amazing cultural assets and delight visitors moving forward with the plan in 2021 and beyond.

If you want to learn and give input on how we build visitation, sustainably, on our unique cultural assets, please attend.

Two Sessions and RSVP Links

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
10:30 am – 12:00 pm PST via Zoom
Register HERE in advance for this meeting and get an email calendar confirmation.
What to Expect: Celebrate our story (and how you are a vital part) with industry expert Cheryl guiding us through current data and examples.

Thursday, January 28
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm PST via Zoom
Register HERE in advance for this meeting and get an email calendar confirmation.
What to Expect: Go deeper into how we can be ready to capture this market of travelers, with examples from the COVID era and a Q & A.

January 11th Update
on COVID-19’s Impact on American Travel
Find out about current traveler sentiment regarding travel activities, the COVID-19 vaccine, health & personal finance concerns and confidence in future travel.
All In Washington, a statewide COVID-19 relief effort, today announced that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has pledged another $25 million in matching funds to the campaign, bringing his total contributions to $50 million. Bezos’ pledge will help All In WA toward its new fundraising goal of $100 million.All in WA provides funds to causes that support workers and families who have been acutely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, including gifts to the Resilience Fund at the Whatcom Community Foundation. The Resilience Fund is investing in nonprofits working on the front lines of COVID-19 response, getting emergency assistance to our community’s most vulnerable neighbors.
Whatcom County has entered new, uncharted and dangerous COVID-19 territory. Since Dec. 30 cases have risen very rapidly, faster than ever before. There’s a high risk of the virus spreading even further as people return to work after the holidays. The Whatcom County Health Department advises immediate action to curb the rise in cases. Twice as many cases were reported this week than last, and case counts in recent days far exceeded previously seen daily count records. The virus is more active in Whatcom County now than at any time in the past, including the spring of last year.
Starting in January, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation will work with coastal communities throughout the state to chart a course for the new Maritime Washington National Heritage Area. Officially designated by Congress in 2019 as a nationally significant cultural landscape, the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area encompasses 3,000 miles of Washington State’s saltwater coastline—from Grays Harbor County to the Canadian border—and includes 18 federally recognized tribes, 13 counties, 32 incorporated cities, and 30 port districts, as well as innumerable harbors, inlets, peninsulas, island shores, and parks.
The Whatcom Community College (WCC) Foundation concluded its Igniting Futures campaign this month, successfully raising $2.5 million for scholarships and college programs. While the campaign began before the COVID-19 pandemic, the funds raised have had a direct, positive impact helping ensure students achieve their academic and career goals during a time when many are experiencing financial strain.
Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen is bringing a VIP Lounge experience to your house this winter! The newly created Club Nut is taking sign-ups starting today (Dec. 18) for a seasonal club experience either delivered to your home in Bellingham or available for pick-up at the Kitchen. When you sign up for Club Nut you will receive for each month in the season (the inaugural winter season is for January, February and March) a brewer curated case of one dozen ½ liter bottles of Chuckanut beer standards, seasonals, and early small-batch releases. But that’s not all Chuckanut’s club membership includes!
Introducing Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth winter online classes for kids and teens! BAAY’s team is committed to meeting the emotional and creative needs of young people by fostering connection, play, and relationship building. Classes start in January and students will meet each week on Zoom. Students from ages 5-17 can explore theatre, dance, singing, songwriting, improv, costuming, makeup, and more. This winter, BAAY is offering special multiple class discounts, so families can save on costs and provide more opportunities to their kids. Students who are new to BAAY online can receive 25% off tuition.
Former Western Washington University football player and current Tennessee Titan Matt Overton is the latest guest on the Viking Voices Podcast. The NFL veteran, who played football for the Vikings from 2005-06, will be playing in his 110th career NFL game and seventh playoff game this weekend as the Titans host the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC Wildcard game on Sunday in Nashville (10:05 am PT).
The Western Washington University Cheerleading program will host four Virtual Cheer Clinics on Saturdays through the month of April. Dates for the virtual clinics which will run on ZOOM are January 16, February 20, March 20 and April 10. The cost of each clinic is $30 with registration available at WWUVikings.com/CheerClinic. Members of the 2020-21 WWU Cheer team will host the clinics along with coaches Jenny Johnson and Megan Newsted.
Gallery Syre is proud to announce the upcoming exhibition Origins and Evolutions: 5 Generations to open to the public on January 26, 2021. Inspired by Clara Anderson, known to the family as “Grandma Joe”, the exhibition gathers artworks by generations of artists in the Anderson/Syre family: Grandma Joe, her grandson David Syre, and Syre’s daughter Amy Healy. Origins and Evolutions reveal how the power of art can transcend generations and forms.
by Lorin
It’s hard to beat a Whatcom County winter. We’re known for our incredible outdoor recreation, including the scenic Mount Baker Highway where you can experience all your favorite snow sports. From the top 10 walking trails to snowshoeing on and exploring winter trails we have it.
by Lorin
Finding paths to equity, inclusion, and diversity requires a range of ongoing actions from inquiry to empathy to accountability—but the payoff is big: diversity makes for a vibrant and equitable shared experience. So much of the world has been diving into this work—and Whatcom County is celebrating this growth opportunity as well. Here are some local resources and virtual events where you can join others in finding strength in diversity in Whatcom County.
During these times of physical distancing, it is important that our community works to remain socially connected. The events calendar serves as a hub for Whatcom County businesses, restaurants, stores and other organizations to share their events and online activities.

January 14-30

Time: 11 am - 4 pm
January 15-17
January 15-31

Time: All Day
$10 (under 18 Free)
January 23

Time: 10 am - 2 pm
Voting is now live! Check out our Facebook to vote on your favorite entry or send us your scenic photos from all around the county to show off your photography and win local prizes.
Questions? We are happy to answer them for you.
Give us a call at 360-671-3990, email us or visit our website at bellingham.org

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
360-671-3990| bellingham.org