We are here for you!
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism provides this Tourism Talk e-news to provide ongoing information to our local businesses. We have also added 
tourism industry  resources  to Bellingham.org for access anytime. 
We are here to help all our members navigate these uncertain times. 
US Travel Updates
American Travel Confidence Slowly Improving

Research by Destination Analysts for the week of June 8 reports: "More Americans feel ready to travel and are exhibiting strong conviction about their upcoming travel plans, although safety remains an integral part of their trip decision-making process. Here are key findings: 
  • American travelers' feelings about their health, financial and travel safety continue to improve. 
  • More Americans report they are already traveling or ready to travel. 
  • 70 percent will take at least one leisure trip in the remainder of 2020.
  • Over three-quarters have a developed sense of where and when their next leisure trip will take place and the majority say there is little chance of cancellation.
  • 40 percent say their next road trip will take place this summer.
  • Safety considerations are still important to travelers' decision-making, from which destination they choose to visit to the hotels they select.
  • Younger generations are likelier to use a diverse set of social media and digital tools for their trip research, while Baby Boomers are more likely to concentrate their travel research activity on web searches.
  • Four in ten conventions/conference travelers would be happy to attend a convention in the Fall.
Whatcom County Updates

With the announcement that  Whatcom County  is approved for Phase 2, the City of Bellingham is re-opening some park facilities that have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  These facilities include sports courts, such as basketball, tennis, pickleball and volleyball, the disc golf course at Cornwall Memorial Park, fenced-off leash areas at Lake Padden and Squalicum Creek Parks, the BMC track and skate park at Civic Complex, and the pump Bike parks, dog parks, sport courts and parking open by end of next week track at Whatcom Falls Park. 

Effective Monday June 8, Whatcom County Parks and Recreation's Silver Lake Park campground will open. This coincides with Whatcom County's move into Phase 2 of Washington State's Safe Start reopening plan. Some operational changes remain in effect even as the campground opens:
  • Picnic Shelters and Group Camp remain closed.
  • All public showers are closed.
  • Due to enhanced cleaning protocols, cabins have reduced availability.
  • Concessions are unavailable.
  • The Lodge will be open in the coming weeks with reduced hours so guests can pay fees and purchase firewood. Lodge hours will be posted in the park.
  • Boat rentals will be available in the coming weeks on a reduced schedule. Boat rental schedule is subject to change and will be posted in the park.
  • The playground is closed.
As  Whatcom County  begins Phase 2, the City of Bellingham is promoting several programs to support businesses as they respond to changing COVID-19 restrictions. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted retailers and restaurateurs throughout the country and in our community, forcing businesses to adapt by offering curbside delivery and pick-up, online services, and other creative ways to follow new health protocols. 

Whatcom Unified Command (WUC), the community's multi-jurisdictional response to COVID-19 locally, has begun distribution of more than 100,000 single-use face masks to area businesses. The free, disposable masks, as well as some durable masks, are meant to help businesses meet state guidelines as they prepare for re-opening. WUC is partnering with local Chambers of Commerce, Downtown Bellingham Partnership and other organizations to distribute masks to businesses opening in Phase 2.
Childcare Survey from Port of Bellingham

In partnership with several local organizations and in light of Whatcom County's Phase 2 re-opening, the Port of Bellingham has developed a childcare survey to assess the needs of Whatcom residents as they return to work. The survey is voluntary, anonymous, and will be open through June 24. Take survey by clicking this link: https://forms.gle/CN5XpTurBEUG1BpG7
How will we remember life in Bellingham and Whatcom County during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy quarantine? Peoples' Perspectives: COVID-19 in Whatcom County, a new online initiative organized by a coalition of local organizations, invites community members to record their impressions. Visit wcls.org/covidperspectives to see the selection of multimedia projects, to view stories gathered so far, and to get involved.
Bellingham Public Library resumed limited services this week, allowed during  Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee's  Safe Start plan, while the doors of its three branches remain closed to patrons until Phase 3.  Library Director Rebecca Judd said the first step of resuming library services is inviting patrons to return items they checked out before facilities closed in mid-March. The outdoor book returns were reopened today (Monday, June 8) at the Central Library only.  
Member Updates
Now that Bellingham Whatcom County are in Phase 2, restaurants are allowed to offer dine-in seating at 50% occupancy. The following restaurants have let us know they are open! This list provides visitors and locals with everything they need to know to find great food and support our community during the current coronavirus situation. We will update this list as we hear from additional restaurants. Let's support each other! For a full list of restaurants in Bellingham and Whatcom County with maps, locations and contact info see our  restaurants page.

A new  Chuckanut Brewery  collaboration beer called 2 Amigos is now available in bottles around the Northwest. This great Mexican Style Dark Lager was brewed at South Nut with the help of the Skagit Valley College Brew Program. Made with Skagit Valley Malt to showcase farmers and maltsters as well as the brew program at the county college, 2 Amigos follows a traditional Mexican-Style dark lager recipe. It's an easy-drinking beer with smooth flavors and an effervescent light body despite its dark color. Great for a dark beer choice on a hot, beachy day!

Local Inspiration
Exploring  Bellingham's history on foot with a self-guided tour is a fun way to connect kids (or any of us!) to our city as well as get everybody out of the house.
According to the city's website, Bellingham has eight designated areas on the  National Register of Historic Places. Each of these neighborhoods or districts can provide us with a glimpse back in time - if you know where to look. The city also has an interactive  "story" map listing on the state and local historic registers as well, to help you on your search.

Despite the event cancellations of Washington State's Stay Home Stay Healthy order, Bellingham and Whatcom County arts organizations found creative ways to stay connected to the community that are continuing into the future. Together, more than 30 organizations came together to form the Whatcom Arts Project. Daily Facebook and Instagram posts allow the public to stay connected to their favorite arts organizations while also discovering new ones, all safely and conveniently from home. 

June 11 - July 5

Time:  All Day
June 11 - July 8

Time:  All Day
June 12

Time:  3 pm-7 pm
June 13

Time:  7 pm - 8 pm
June 15, 22 & 29

Time:  Posted 4:30 PM Mondays, watch anytime from home
June 15, 22 & 29

Time:  8:00 am - Noon
2019 Annual Report

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism has been working diligently during the COVID-19 pandemic to support countywide tourism businesses and, we've been staying top-of-mind with potential visitors while we prepare for the recovery to come.
2019 was a very good year for tourism, which grew at a rate of 4.3% over the previous year in Bellingham and Whatcom County. You will see from the  2019 Annual Report that the economic impact of tourism is significant; that over 7,400 jobs with a payroll of $244.9 million in Whatcom County depend on it; and that tourism generated $70.7 million in state and local taxes in 2019.
Under normal circumstances we would mail this report, however, this year we are sending it to you digitally along with links in case you want to take a deeper dive.  Click to view 2019 Annual Report.

Thank you for your ongoing support. We are in this together and we must be united in our approach to recovery in 2020 and beyond. Tourism is one of the fastest ways to get our economy going again and we look forward to continuing our work, together.  
Sandy Ward, CEO
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

May & June 2020
Our region is full of beauty! Send us your scenic photos from all around the county and enter them in our latest contest for a chance at a prize! Yes, members can enter. Members can also donate prizes. Enter here.

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