Policy Platform Statements
1. Tourism – SCHA supports a robust Sonoma County tourism sector as a key economic driver of our local economy that creates jobs, enhances lifestyle and culture, and helps to fund government programs, nonprofits and regional parks supporting sustainable travel through our Leave No Trace Behind Principles that protect and preserve our local destinations for generations to come.
2. Destination Marketing Efforts – SCHA supports ongoing funding for SCT tourism destination marketing efforts that have resulted in positive industry growth making Sonoma County a top destination with a positive economic impact on our restaurants, tasting rooms, attractions and retail establishments that provide our residents and visitors with excellent selection and variety.
3. Workforce – SCHA supports workforce development efforts that promote jobs and industry training for our next generation of hospitality sector workers including partnerships with local colleges and high schools to enhance culinary and hospitality programs, expanding industry internship opportunities, progressive visa programs addressing labor supply issues, exploring innovative housing partnership opportunities for seasonal labor, and reforms to current wage and tip policies in the restaurant sector to improve economic viability.
4. Housing – SCHA supports public/private efforts to develop and accelerate workforce housing projects countywide including the construction of more housing units, high density housing with transportation access, reduced barriers to development and building and innovative approaches addressing housing needs.
5. Public /Private Events – SCHA supports the staging of well-conceived, legally permitted and produced events with proper planning, coordination and communication with residents and event policies such as the recently approved Wine Events Ordinance while reducing negative impacts on residents that bring much needed hospitality business to our region.
6. Short Term Rentals – SCHA supports a balanced and level playing field with STRs and online agents and fair local regulations and tax collections regarding vacation rentals that recognize the significant positive economic impact of STRs to local TOT and BIA revenues. Revenues generated by STR guests support county programs enjoyed by residents of Sonoma County that help local businesses and attractions in the hospitality sector and beyond sustain their businesses while mitigating potential community concerns.
7. Industry Compliance & Permitting – SCHA is actively engaged with County and local governing bodies on pending policies and compliance issues that will impact the Hospitality industry. We strongly believe that an open dialogue between the hospitality industry, citizens, and government will result in win-win solutions and less acrimony and work to educate and build awareness industry-wide to support a smooth transition, minimize violations and help businesses achieve compliance supporting a strong local economy.
8. Homelessness – SCHA supports city and county efforts to provide shelter, emergency and support services, and permanent and stable housing options and plans to end homelessness in Sonoma County which remains a complex and expensive issue to address while it negatively impacts county residents, local business, employees, visitors and the tourism industry and reduces the desirability of Sonoma County as a destination.
9. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – SCHA supports DEI initiatives within the travel and tourism industry by encouraging programs that increase diversity for our workforce and visitors and promotes upward mobility for and across all sectors of the industry while welcoming visitors who reflect the diversity of our state, country and international communities.
10. Quality of Life – SCHA values a high quality of life for our hospitality industry and supports access to affordable healthcare, meaningful work or volunteerism, family friendly policies for childcare, life- work balance, healthy food and lifestyle, and access to cultural and leisure activities.