COVID-19 Webinar 5-1-20

On 5/1/20 the WTA hosted a webinar around the response to the Covid-19. Over 300 tourism professionals from all over Washington State participated.

The webinar featured the new Interim Executive Director, David Blandford who discussed tourism spending trends. David was joined by 3 industry experts

Jon Snyder – Governor’s Senior Policy Advisor, Outdoor Recreation & Economic Development. Jon gave an update on the Governor’s most recent order and what it means for the tourism industry in Washington.

Chris Green – Assistant Director, Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness. Chris outlined the resources available to tourism-related businesses in Washington.

Anthony Anton – CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association
Anthony previewed guidelines that are being developed for the hospitality industry to safely and responsibly reopen their doors to tourists.

To view a recording of the webinar, click here.

Covid-19: Business Resources 4-28-20

Dear Partners:

The tourism industry in Washington and throughout the world is facing an unprecedented crisis. While we’re hopeful that our state can slowly begin to open in May, but the return to normalcy will be counted in years rather than months. The WTA remains committed to doing everything possible to keep our partners and industry stakeholders connected to the resources they need to navigate this crisis. We are continuing to work with industry leaders to remind legislators about the importance of tourism to our economy and to craft guidelines to safely reopen tourism-related businesses in our state.

Here is an updated list of links to help you find the resources you need:

Federal Resources CARES Act: This toolkit provided by US Travel helps tourism-related businesses and organizations navigate the full CARES Act. US Travel also has provided a helpful FAQ about the CARES Act.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Congressional leaders and the administration forged an agreement to supplement the program. The $481 billion agreement provides an additional $321 billion for the PPP, $60 billion for the EIDL program, $75 billion for healthcare providers and $25 billion to expand testing capacity (including $11 billion for states to increase testing).
  • SBA Debt Relief: The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This covers all principal, interest and fees on current and new SBA 7(a) loans made through September 27, 2020 for up to six months.
  • Express Bridge Loan: The SBA’s Express Bridge Loan allows small businesses that have an existing business relationship with a participating lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Small Business Development Centers: These centers will help you navigate available SBA loans and provide you with no-cost business consulting.
Export Credit Insurance: This program protects you in case your customers overseas are slow on paying receivables or go out of business. It allows you to commit to export sales without fear of loss during the pandemic.


State Resources

  • On 4/27 Governor Inslee announced easing of outdoor restrictions.
  • The Department of Commerce has created a list of COVID-19 Business Resources.
  • Small Business Resiliency Assistance: offering technical assistance for small business owners from culturally and historically disadvantaged communities.
  • Small Business COVID-19 Back-to-Work Planner: (Part 1) is designed to help plan the steps necessary to open your business once the state says it’s safe to do so.
  • Humanities Washington Grant: Humanities Washington is honored to provide rapid-response funding to humanities and cultural non-profit organizations in Washington State facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus. Funding for this grant is provided by the CARES Act and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  •  Washington Hospitality Association: A coronavirus resource guide for the restaurant and lodging industry.

If you have questions or other resources, please don’t hesitate to communicate with us. Contact Mike Moe at mike@watourismalliance.com.

The Washington Tourism Alliance Launches showWAlove.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2020

Media Contact:
Christina Pivarnik
(360) 531-0127/christina@pivarnik.com

The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) today launched showWAlove.com, a new online program to help support local Washington businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Data from national tourism research firm Tourism Economics estimates that 4.6 million U.S. travel industry jobs may be lost by May 31 – roughly 40 percent of all tourism-related jobs. That constitutes more than 75,000 jobs in Washington State and means local restaurants, hotels, attractions, tour operators, and destination marketing organizations will bear the brunt of these losses.

Buy Now. Play Later.

While social distancing restrictions are in effect, the showWAlove.com offers a platform for Washingtonians to help hard-working business owners and employees. People can support their favorite local businesses by purchasing gift cards for future use. They can search for restaurants, lodgings and retail establishments by region or type of business and then connect with that business to buy gift cards.  

Business Assistance

Hundreds of businesses have gift card offers on showWAlove.com and inventory continues to grow. Businesses that don’t currently offer gift cards will be able to learn how to expand their online presence on the showWAlove.com website through webinars and additional resources. The WTA is committed to helping the small businesses in Washington use every tool available to get through this uncertain time.

“Recovery has to begin now,” said David Blandford, WTA Co-Chair. “This is just one initial measure of support and others will follow. We hope this program can help stabilize businesses and preserve jobs. Together we can show Washington’s tourism industry love during this unprecedented crisis.”

About the Washington Tourism Alliance

The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) is a 501[c]6 organization established by industry stakeholders with the sole mission to develop and sustain Washington State destination tourism marketing. The WTA procures and administers funds for state destination tourism marketing activities and creates and implements a strategic statewide destination marketing plan. www.watourismalliance.com

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COVID-19: GOVERNOR ORDERS STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY ORDER

Dear Partner, On Sunday March 22, Governor Inslee issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation. The order takes effect immediately and will remain in place for a minimum of two weeks.
This proclamation will:

  • Require every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity
  • Ban all public and private gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes
  • Close all businesses except essential businesses

The order states that Washingtonians can still participate in outdoor activities like bike rides, hikes, and working in their yard, as long as they maintain proper social distancing or at least six feet from each other. Essential businesses will remain open including grocery stores and pharmacies. Many tourism-related businesses were also deemed essential including hotels, rental car companies and many transportation organizations, as well as restaurant take-out and curbside services.
By this evening, March 25, all non-essential businesses must close. Teleworking from home is still allowed. Businesses can visit the Washington State Business Re-Entry Registration website to clarify or certify status, or to petition their non-essential status. They would still need to implement social distancing rules of at least six feet. Read more about the Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation.

Business Resources – Covid-19 3/20/20

The impact of the coronavirus is starting to become clearer and the results for our industry are grim. The closure of restaurants, attractions and entertainment venues mean that small business owners all over our state are going to have to do what they can to weather the storm. In the meantime, the WTA will do everything we can to our businesses survive this upheaval and then thrive when the time comes to reignite our industry.

As you know, the travel and tourism industry has been hit disproportionately hard in this crisis. It’s important to document the losses so we’re able to present a full picture to legislators and members of congress when they begin to allocate resources. Please take 5 minutes to fill out the following surveys:

WTA Survey – All answers will remain confidential.

US Travel Survey which includes an easy communication to your members of congress

Washington State is starting to mobilize to help small business owners get through this trying time. Please click here for Employment Security Department resources including:

Click here for resources from the Association of Washington Businesses, including information about a business impact webinar on March 23rd.

Click here for resources from Governor Inslee which includes disaster loan information and employer and worker assistance.

In the coming days, please look for a new project from the WTA to help Washingtonians show their love for their favorite tourism-related businesses.

If we work together our industry will get through this crisis and come out of it stronger than ever before.

Business Resources COVID-19 3/12/20

The Washington Tourism Alliance continues to monitor the impacts of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and is actively communicating and coordinating with Washington State Department of Commerce, Port of Seattle, Visit Seattle and other partners.  We will continue to work with  Washington’s tourism industry during this challenging time, and will work with Governor Inslee and the Washington State Department of Commerce to support community mitigation efforts in our state and bolster business recovery efforts for tourism businesses. Below are some resources and ways that you can assist the industry response.  

Consumer Travel Advisory

Feel free to refer visitors to a Covid-19 travel advisory we’ve posted on WTA’s consumer travel web site.  This advisory is updated daily. 

Travel Industry Messages

Travel industry organizations urge fact-based decision–making

U.S. Travel Association Covid-19 Tool Kit and Messages

Resources for Washington State Businesses

General COVID-19 Information

How You Can HelpWTA is monitoring and reporting Covid-19 impact to the tourism industry. Please let the WTA know if the following happens in your community:

  • Closure of tourism-related businesses
  • Cancellation of events
  • Other major disruptions of business

Please email mike@watourismalliance.com with this information or any questions