September 20, 2019 / Annika Sampson / Whatcom Talk

Sandy Ward Puts Whatcom County on the Map

I sit down with Sandy Ward, CEO and president of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, and am immediately struck by her warm spirit, her love of her community, and her hot pink nails. As she sips a hot chocolate, she tells me about her dreams and plans for sharing Bellingham and Whatcom County with the world.

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism is an organization that’s been in business since 1978. “Our main job is to bring people from far enough away so that they have to spend the night,” Ward tells me. “When people spend the night, they spend more money. We’re really an economic development tool and agency. We’re focused on bringing people in from outside of the area—from Seattle, San Francisco.”

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        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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