Travel Industry News
Starting today we have reformatted our Tourism Talk e-news to provide ongoing travel industry updates. We are here every day to help all our members of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism navigate these uncertain times. 
Local Whatcom County Updates
Travel Advisory Updates

To assist our visitors, local partners and employees, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism is maintaining a Travel Advisory landing page with information and resources on the spread of COVID-19 as it relates to the travel industry in Whatcom County and Washington State. This page is continuously updated daily as the situation evolve  https://www.bellingham.org/insider-blogs/travel-advisory/. Please feel welcome to share the link with your visitors and staff. 

Although our Visitor Information Centers are temporarily closed, the staff of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism are working hard to assist our business members by providing a variety of updated information on our website as well circulating information about our destination to inspire travel after the threat of the global pandemic has passed. Please do not hesitate to reach out to sandy@bellingham.org with any questions you may have.
Allegiant Suspends Operations at Bellingham Airport

Due to the closure of the U.S.-Canada border to nonessential travel, Allegiant has temporarily suspended all operations at the Bellingham International Airport, effective March 24. Passengers who booked directly through Allegiant.com will be notified of any flight cancellations.

The governments of the United States and Canada made the decision to halt travel for tourism and recreation in an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease / COVID-19. This border closure virtually overnight had a direct and profound impact on our Bellingham flights, as the majority of our customers in Bellingham are leisure travelers from Canada.

Bellingham International Airport has been an Allegiant base since 2008, employing approximately 100 people. During this temporary suspension in service, we are formalizing potential options for our impacted employees.

We are tentatively targeting June 3 to return to flying, though any number of uncontrollable factors could impact the feasibility of that date - first and foremost, the timeline for reopening the Canadian border. Our teams are in constant contact with both United States and Canadian officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other regulatory agencies, monitoring the latest developments.  

Whatcom County Small Business Resources

Western Washington University's Small Business Development Center is closely monitoring the impacts to our local businesses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. View this webpage for resources and information that can help small business community get through these challenging times.

Western Washington University Spring Quarter 
Entirely Online

Western Washington University has announced that all classes and instruction will be offered remotely throughout spring quarter. As announced previously, spring quarter classes are starting on Monday, April 6, and the quarter is expected to end as scheduled after final exams conclude on June 12, 2020.


Veritas Media  and Bellingham Tonight  are offering free 1-minute profile videos for businesses that are getting creative with their product offering during the COVID-19 outbreak. Together, they want to give local businesses that are hardest hit by this pandemic a chance to showcase how people can still patronize your business. 


Not sure which restaurants and breweries are open or offering to-go and curbside pickup in Bellingham and Whatcom County? This list of restaurants and businesses provides visitors and locals with everything they need to know to find great food and support our community during the current coronavirus situation. Let's support each other!


Coronavirus COVID-19 has created widespread disruption to the global travel industry. With the highest regard for health, local hotels, places to eat and attractions in Bellingham and the Whatcom County region of Washington State maintain high cleaning standards, while sanitizing their properties daily and hourly to protect guests and employees..

Washington Hospitality Association News
Governor Announces Small Business Employee Relief

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has made several important announcements concerning economic relief measures for people and businesses amidst the coronavirus outbreak including: 
  • a waiver of the one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance
  • the availability of up to $5 million of the Governor's Strategic Reserve Funds for small business relief
  • flexibility for tax payments and suspension of enforcement
  • Utilities providers are asked to waive late fees and more 
Beer / Wine Delivery Rules

Rules for beer and wine delivery have been updated during the coronavirus outbreak. Learn the details and how to apply for licenses here.
Washington Festivals & Events Association 
Virtual Conference:
Finding Relief and Building Resilience
March 24-25, 2020

Join the Washington Festivals & Events for a two-day online conference via Facebook Live on March 24 - 25 to discuss the COVID-19 impact on events. REGISTER HERE
Topics include:
  • How to events survive until 2020
  • Financial Crisis Management
  • Public Health and Safety issues
U.S. Travel Association News
ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSIS

The U.S. Travel Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association have met with President Trump, Vice President Pence and Commerce Secretary Ross to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on America's travel industry and a disaster relief package to help support the millions of travel workers and businesses - 83% of which are small businesses - affected by these incredible circumstances. 

They presented the following projected downturn  of the U.S. Travel Industry due to the coronavirus.

Destinations International
Travel Industry COVID-19 Resource Page

Destinations International is committed to providing accurate, factual and up-to-date information about COVID-19, including an interactive visual of the spread of the disease, provided by the experts at Johns Hopkins University on its website at:
https://destinationsinternational.org/covid-19-coronavirus-travel-industry-resource-page
Local Scenes of Inspiration

Bellingham and Whatcom County are a photographer's dream. From small boutiques and local restaurants to waterfront parks and breathtaking hikes. Just 90 miles north of Seattle and 55 miles south of Vancouver BC, Bellingham is the perfect destination for a photogenic vacation to share on Instagram.


It's a headline often displayed proudly on the Mt. Baker Ski Area website during winter. These words inspire legions of skiers and snowboarders to drive the scenic Mount Baker Highway in search of Baker's world-class powder. And it's good news for the rest of us, too. If you prefer simply walking in the snow, snowshoeing may be the winter activity for you.


If you love great tasting food, beautiful views and local experience then these top 10 things to do in Bellingham are for you. It's the perfect itinerary and will send you home feeling like you've truly experienced Bellingham.

Whatcom County Recent Media Stories

Below are recent feature stories about Bellingham and Whatcom County. Click on the titles to view the stories, or see our  full media coverage webpage .

4 Questions with Brandon Egbert of Bellewood Distillery
Marguerite Cleveland / Sip Magazine / 

Wandering Through Washington
Shelia G. Miller / OnTrak Magazine / 

Check out the four local spots on Yelp's best places to eat in 2020 list
Kim Holcomb / King5 News / 

The Top 15 Biggest Snowfall Totals in North America Season-to-Date
SnowBrains / Snow Brains / 

Shrubs 101: So Much More than a Drinking Vinegar
Molly Allen / Sip Northwest / 

NEW 2020 Visitors Guide Now Available
 
To encourage and inspire travel dreams for after the current virus is over, our new 2020 Visitors Guide is available in print or online. 

The Visitors Guide is an excellent start for anyone traveling to Whatcom County. Get insights on outdoor adventure, entertainment, food, lodging and more.  
 
Visitors can  view online or request one by mail.

Photo Contest

March & April 2020
Whatcom County is a great place to play! Take some photos enjoying the many activities and scenic spots 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


Amateur and professional photographers of all ages are invited to join in the 15th annual Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition.  The City of Bellingham  and Whatcom Museum  sponsor this photography competition to highlight what residents love most about living in their community. Photos must have been taken after Jan. 1, 2019 and capture the "essence" of living, working or playing in Bellingham. Entries can be submitted for free and are due by May 1st.
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