View this email in your browser
Thursday, May 13, 2021               

Hi local partners, 

Thanks for reading. We value our community partnerships so much.

The US Travel Association is celebrating increased traveler readiness with their "Let's Go There" campaign this month, and we are anticipating visitors and their spending to kick our recovery into gear.

To make this happen, #1 on the list of tips for travelers from US Travel is: Get an approved COVID-19 vaccine. #2 is: Wear a mask. Only through stopping possible spread will we be able to fully enjoy economic recovery and a healthy traveling environment.

We've referenced a Bellingham Herald article from this week below with information on our latest COVID trends and how much vaccination matters. Please advocate for everyone who is eligible to be a part of the solution and get their vaccine.

Read on for the latest traveler sentiment studies, local initiatives, and promotional opportunities.

Sandy Ward, CEO
We're here to help. Visit us at  
Industry Data and News

Traveler Sentiment Update; May 11, 2021

"LatinX Travelers"

Join moderators Erin Francis-Cummings & Melissa Elkins as they share some recent questions answered from the Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Index Report. This week’s event featured an important conversation with LatinX travelers who shared their unique perspectives and personal experiences and how this impacts their upcoming and future travel decisions.

IITA Steps to Success
Travel Trade Webinar featuring Jennifer Ackerson

May 18 at 9:30am

The Washington Tourism Alliance presents this FREE tourism development training webinar on how to work with inbound travel professionals, create successful partnerships and develop resources to stimulate international business with global re-opening. Whether you are new to the industry or a veteran of working with the travel trade, come update your knowledge and hear from our panel about what is expected and vital for the return of international inbound travel. Click HERE to register for this free event!

Local Updates and Opportunities

Everyone Welcome! Virtual Training on Hosting

Bring your staff, tell your neighboring businesses: 
Everyone's Welcome at Everyone Welcome!

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism is kicking off its Tourism Education Series for 2021 with this important, FREE training opportunity for the Whatcom hospitality community.
On June 2, join in to take a big, important step toward welcoming the LGBTQ+ community!
Our education partner, HospitableMe, will deliver their signature program, Everyone Welcome! This training program will discuss evolving language, the growing market, unconscious bias, the challenges LGBTQ+ people face when traveling, and ways we can do better and make the community feel more welcomed. 
Everyone Welcome Virtual Training Meeting
When: June 2, 2021 at 10:30am (90 minutes)
Where: Virtual Meeting—Register HERE.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
It is a goal at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism to make everyone feel more included. We hope you’ll join us as we embark on this journey.

Get Your Shot, Keep Us Moving Forward

According to the Bellingham Herald this Tuesday:

"Whatcom County is currently failing both metrics the state will use in one week to determine if the county will remain in Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery plan or if it will be forced to roll back to the stricter regulations of Phase 2.

'We are teetering on the edge of moving back to Phase 2 in Whatcom County, pending the evaluation next week and further data and whether the governor’s pause is extended,' Whatcom County Health Department Director Erika Lautenbach said during an online briefing Tuesday morning, May 11.

And the numbers show there is one group of people that is responsible for the predicament Whatcom County finds itself in — those who are not fully vaccinated."

The article goes on to explain the cases driving up both our case count numbers and hospitalizations are coming from the nonvaccinated segment of our county. No hospitalizations are reported from those who were vaccinated and only 1 or 2 out of 100,000 positive cases were from those vaccinated versus 289 cases from those not vaccinated.

This is both a positive outcome for vaccines, and a clear example of why we need to get more folks safely vaccinated.

Three Grant Opportunities Recently Opened:

City Seeks Tourism Grant Proposals
for 2022 Events and Activities

Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Monday, June 7

The City of Bellingham is accepting applications for tourism promotion grants to promote eligible tourism and cultural activities in Bellingham during 2022. This grant cycle is partially supported by federal funding as well as the City’s lodging tax. These are reimbursement grants for either start-ups or existing assets to our community.

NEW! Up to 25% of your award may be used for operational expenses. Eligible operational expenses are limited to venue rentals (i.e. conference rooms), equipment rentals (i.e. cones, traffic signs, etc.), a portion of rent (must be proportionate to the event), and/or the purchase of goods/supplies with prior approval by the City. For example, payroll, travel, alcohol and equipment expenses are NOT allowed.

The purpose of this grant program is to promote various programs and events that bring visitors to Bellingham and Whatcom County, resulting in increased economic activity, Sundin said. Eligibility is broadly defined to encourage wide participation and innovative proposals. The grant program is primarily focused on marketing activities, but a portion of the grant can be directed to support operations as well.

Grants are awarded through a competitive process. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, June 7, 2021. Information and applications are available on the City’s website: Tourism Promotion Grants.

NOW POSTED! Whatcom County Accepting Applications
for Tourism Promotion Grants

Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Monday, June 7

Direct file link to the application. New this year is the ability to apply 25% of requested funds toward eligible operating expenses.

For more information:, or contact Tawni Helms via the information on that page.

Nonprofit Community Recovery
Grants are Open, Submit by May 24

The Washington State Department of Commerce is pleased to partner with ArtsFund to administer over $10 million in Nonprofit Community Recovery (NCR) grants.


Grants range from $2,500 to $25,000. Awards must be used to cover expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, due to financial hardship incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be awarded as unrestricted grants but cannot be used to cover expenses previously covered by other COVID-19 related public funding sources including Paycheck Protection Program funds.

Eligibility Requirements

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Organizations that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Organizations that have 501(c)(3) status, or fiscal sponsorship by a 501(c)(3), with appropriate documentation since FY2019
  • Organizations that have a 2019 annual operating budget greater than $25,000
  • Organizations that operate in one or more of the following four focus areas:

Arts, culture, science, and heritage organizations
Defined as organizations whose primary mission is to offer or promote artistic, creative, cultural, scientific, technology or heritage programs for the enrichment of their community.

Neighborhood Associations
Defined as organizations whose primary mission is to make improvements to a community’s social health, safety, well-being, and overall functioning within a well-defined geographic area. These organizations will be focused specifically on a geographic area and should reference that specific area prominently in their outreach and literature. For more information on types of organizations eligible for this category, please visit the FAQs.

Sports and Recreation Organizations
Defined as organizations whose primary mission is to provide sports or physical recreation programs for children and/or adults. Programs must have designated coaches and organized practices.

Veterans Organizations
Defined as organizations whose primary mission is to serve veterans through their programming or services.

Key Dates, and More Information:

• Applications opened at 1:00 pm on May 10, 2021

• Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 pm on May 24, 2021

• Grant recipients will be notified on or before June 30, 2021

• Funds will be distributed on or before June 30, 2021

Job Fair for the Best Western Plus Bellingham Today

Thursday, May 13th from 1-5pm
Open time slots, just come on in. Come prepared with your resume and yourself. They are planning to make hires at the job fair.
They are looking for the following positions:

  • Breakfast Host/Attendant
  • Daily 4am-11am will also act as shuttle driver and clean lobby 
  • FT and PT Housekeeping
  • PT Night Auditor/Overnight front desk

Ferndale Chamber Presentation by Sandy Ward

Cultural Heritage Tourism Initiative 
Post-Meeting Materials & Next Steps

We held a public meeting with industry expert Cheryl Hargrove recently. Check out the materials below and join in our efforts to engage travelers seeking arts & cultural heritage experiences.
1. If you couldn't attend the meeting, check out resources below. Questions or ideas? Reach out:

2. Sign up for committees!

3. Keep an eye out for chances to be involved in intiatives, such as being a "stop" on an itinerary or cultural pass.

Cultural Heritage Tourism Meeting Materials - 4/29/21
Recording of the meeting with Cheryl & Visit Bellingham | Whatcom Co:
Watch video, under an hour
Access Passcode: 701@h&av

Cheryl's April 2021 Status Report:
PDF of Status Report & Survey Findings

Cheryl's & Amy's Slides:
Cheryl's Status Report
Amy's Bandwango Information

Sign Up to Be On a Small Action Committee!
Add your name

More information can be found here:

Current Campaigns and Outreach

Share Our Campaigns, Support Our Local Economy!

Follow Bellingham Experience on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for daily updates and content to share.


Things to Do This Weekend in
Bellingham and Whatcom County

Every week, we use the official Visit Bellingham Whatcom County Event Calendar to create our Things to Do This Weekend blog (and you can share this blog, seem in-the-know, and help your fellow businesses!). Our calendar is for visitor-friendly live and virtual events throughout Whatcom County. Make sure you ADD YOUR EVENT to our calendar, so we can add you to our blog, and then we can all help spread the word! 

Build Your Own Campaign! 

Share our itineraries, like our Chuckanut Drive Scenic Byway, with our new video! Create your own one-of-kind social media posts to invite folks to spend two or three days in Whatcom County and let them know why they should add YOUR organization as a part of their trip!

All of our itineraries can be used to create your own social media posts telling folks why they should visit and be sure to tag us @BellinghamExperience and #BellinghamExperience too! 🚗🧳

Visit Bellingham | Whatcom County Photo Contest

Voting is now live! Check out our Facebook to vote for your favorite photo and help previous travelers win bigWe received a lot of great shots so make sure to vote by liking / sharing / commenting on your favorite 📸

The top three photographers will win a gift card to Camber Coffee, Edaleen Dairy or a trip to the Lynden Pioneer MuseumCheck out our site for more! 

Let your guests know they can share their trip! Here’s some text to help you share: "Check out Visit Bellingham | Whatcom County's Facebook to vote for your favorite photo of Whatcom County!  📸Submissions are still open too—submit your shots now for a chance to win local prizes!  #BellinghamExperience"

Copyright © 2021 Visit Bellingham | Whatcom County, All rights reserved.

Did someone forward you this email? Subscribe Here

We have a few different mailing lists, and we want to make sure you don't miss something you need!
We would love it if you would  
update your preferences rather than doing this: unsubscribe from this list.