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 at anytime. 
We are here to help all our members navigate these uncertain times. 
Washington State Updates

Figures released by the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) indicate that tourism in Washington State logged double digit growth during the past five years - generating $10.9 billion in direct state GDP in 2019 alone.

However, Washington State has experienced a dramatic decline in tourism in 2020 due to the global pandemic. Since the beginning of March, visitor spending in Washington has declined by $3.8 billion compared with last year's figures. Traveler spending in Washington has averaged losses of 77 percent over the past 12 weeks. Hotel room revenue alone has declined 72 percent between March 1 and May 23. And in April alone, Seattle Tacoma International Airport experienced a decrease of 93.6 percent in passenger volume, compared with April 2019; international traffic decreased 97.1 percent and domestic traffic decreased 93.1 percent.

"Because such a large share of job losses are related to travel, an economic recovery can only come through a restoration of travel to and within Washington state," said Adam Sachs, President of Tourism Economics.
When Are Americans Planning to Travel?
Gov. Jay Inslee and the state's Joint Information Center have launched an updated version of the state's  COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard . The updated dashboard provides researchers and the public a better ability to see what's happening at the regional and county level when it comes to COVID-19 activity, testing, and healthcare system readiness.
Rebound and Recovery Tool Kit

The Association of Washington Business has created a Rebound and Recovery Tool Kit to help Washington State employers reopen their doors. Find a variety of guidance and resources you need to prepare your workplace and safely welcome back employees and customers.  https://www.reboundandrecovery.org/
Covid19 L&I Resources for Reopening

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) requires employers to implement the Governor's " Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. Employers  must ensure social distancing for employees and customers, frequent and adequate employee hand-washing, and that sick employees stay home. Employers must also provide basic workplace hazard education about coronavirus and how to prevent transmission in languages best understood by employees. L&I does not currently require employers to have a written coronavirus transmission prevention plan.  

L&I's Consultation Program offers confidential, no-fee, professional advice and assistance to Washington businesses. These services can help you find and fix hazards in your workplace and strengthen your safety program. 

On May 4 , 2020 Governor Inslee signed   Proclamation 20-25.3  and outlined the " Safe Start " plan, a phased approach to re-open Washington's economy. Under the plan, businesses and activities will re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures & health standards in place. Businesses may also need to meet additional requirements developed specifically for their industry. 
Tools for Reopening Restaurants

The Washington Hospitality Association has been working on resources that are easy to read, print, and use for our industry's operators, including the following helpful tools for reopening restaurants.

Printable Items for Operators:      
Printable Items for Guests: 
Washington Hospitality Webcasts: 

Tell Us Your Plans for Phase 2

Many of our local businesses including restaurants and retail can open in a limited capacity when Whatcom County reaches Phase 2, and Governor Inslee has issued re-opening guidance for many sectors. But consumers are still nervous. 

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism wants to help you tell your story, and regain consumer trust. Please tell us what special messages we can share about how you are changing your business operations to prepare to re-open and to instill customer confidence. Will you open with special hours? Are you making physical changes to your space? Are you implementing new policies? 

Please send an update to our Marketing team at media@bellingham.org and let's discuss how we can help you get the word out. 
Whatcom County Updates
The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) launched a new, interactive  COVID-19 Data Dashboard  with additional metrics now on display. WCHD partnered with the Washington State Department of Health to develop the dashboard to improve the way local COVID-19 data is shared and to allow for better comparisons with other Washington counties and statewide numbers. 
The data dashboard contains much of the same information that is currently provided on the Whatcom County Health Dept COVID-19 page, such as epidemiological curves and cumulative case counts, but in an interactive format that allows users to more easily view detailed information. Among the new data points are daily testing numbers, positivity rate, and hospitalization data.

Puget Sound Regional Council is conducting a study to consider passenger-only ferry routes such as Bellingham to Friday Harbor, or Bellingham to other possible destinations such as Blaine, Pt. Roberts, Port Townsend, Seattle, etc. Please take this 10 minute survey to provide your input on the process, and encourage others to do the same. Hopefully a new route out of Whatcom County would be on a vessel built by our own All American Marine. 

  • NOTE: the "given" option for a point of origin that applies to Bellingham is currently Bellingham to Friday Harbor. To help the decision-makers realize that Bellingham is more of a HUB with access to multiple locations, please fill in the "Other" or "More Options" -- the survey allows you to complete TWO "Other" options.  Maybe something like Bellingham to Blaine or Bellingham to Seattle or Bellingham to Anacortes would be good options.  
Invitation to Washington State
Maritime National Heritage Area
Presentation for Whatcom County June 10

Chris Moore, Exec Director, WA Historical Preservation Society, and Chuck Fowler, long-time maritime advocate and activist, will present the information about the newly formed Washington State Maritime National Heritage Area and what's next for our area on Wed., June 10 - 3:30 -4:30 p.m. via Zoom. 

To attend, click this Zoom link Meeting ID: 827 4796 8770.  Password: 562203

To attend by phone, find your local number here

North Cascades National Park Service Complex  is increasing recreational access for day use. The National Park Service (NPS) is working Service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Message from Whatcom County Executive
Satpal Sidhu Regarding Recent Tragic Events

Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu issued the following statement in reaction to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery:

This is a painful moment for our country. Heartbreaking events have turned a bright light on the gap between our high ideals and the everyday reality of communities of color throughout America today.

No one has freedom until we all have freedom. Freedom is not waving the flag. Freedom is freedom from bigotry. It is "liberty and justice for all."

I join with leaders across the country in condemning racism in the strongest terms. Racial injustice and racial inequality are not just part of our past-they are very real today and cannot be ignored or wished away.

As President Obama recently suggested, "If we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation's long journey to live up to our highest ideals."

It is up to each one of us to be part of the solution.

Satpal Sidhu, Whatcom County Executive
Member Updates
Camber Donates Sales and Tips
to WWU 
African American Scholarship Fund

Camber coffee re-opened its Downtown Bellingham cafe on Wed, June 3 for contactless, take-away service. The staff donated 100% of its first day sales and tips to the African American Scholarship Fund at Western Washington University, raising $2,000.

The cafe on Holly St. is now open 6 days a week, Wed - Mon, 8am - 2pm (closing Tuesdays for a deep clean). Customers can expect the same holistic, high-quality experience they have come to trust from Camber - in food and beverage offerings and in detailed service from knowledgeable staff. Go to  https://cambercoffee.com/flagship/ to pre-order brunch for four, bulk orders of in-house parties, batched bulk lattes and fresh mimosas. Or stop by for the full coffee and espresso menu, limited breakfast options and pastries. 

For those who have experienced  Chuckanut Brewery's Citra Leaf Pilsner you are now in luck. It's out in bottles across the Northwest and into British Columbia! This new spin our Chuckanut's true Pilsner recipe replaces some of the classic European noble hops with a considerable amount of WA State Yakima Chief's new American Noble Citra Leaf hops. Bright, golden, refreshing with aromas of citrus this is an aromatic and quenchable lager with the typical Chuckanut dry finish.

Support Adventures Northwest Magazine

To overcome the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our local Adventures Northwest magazine has created a series of unique "thank you" gifts for subscribers, including Cascadia Dreams Videos, ultra-high resolution panoramic prints of the North Cascades and print ads to support local non-profits. For details see:  https://www.adventuresnw.com/support/

A summer reading program for kids, teens and adults launched June 1 at  Whatcom County's public libraries. Because library buildings currently remain closed due to COVID-19 public health guidance, there are a few changes this year, but the annual program's focus on discovery remains the same. Visit your local library online to find out more.  The  Bellingham Public Library  and  Whatcom County Library System  team up each year to provide summer reading engagement for all ages,  featuring a popular bingo-card format.  The bingo squares inspire readers to discover new things and ways to read. As participants read or listen to a book, they keep track of their progress on the cards. 

Local Inspiration
To get to the isolated Willows Inn on Lummi Island, you have to first land a coveted reservation and then travel to Seattle, drive two hours north (or one-and-a-half hours south from Vancouver) and take a ferry to Gooseberry Point, Washington. Or you can try to recreate chef Blaine Wetzel's James Beard Award-winning cuisine at home, which he beautifully captures in his new book, Lummi: Island Cooking . The hyperlocal ingredients are foraged, farmed and fished around the Puget Sound, and the dishes sound like they were plucked out of a fairy tale: blackberry stew, green figs with leaf cream, and wild beach pea tips with lovage stems and leek gratin, to name a few.

June 8, 15, 22 & 29

Time:  Posted 4:30 PM Mondays, watch anytime from home
June 8, 15, 22 & 29

Time:  8:00 am - Noon
June 10 - July 5

Time:  All Day
June 11

Time:  7:00 pm
June 12

Time:  3:00 pm

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