New study shows economic impact of tourism in Sonoma Valley $490 million; generates $60 million in taxes

One in six jobs locally supported by industry

Sonoma, CA – A new study from Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, shows that tourism is an integral part of the Sonoma Valley regional economy, and the industry made significant contributions to economic growth in the last year.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Visitors to the Sonoma Valley spent $377 million in 2017, which generated a total of $490 million in total business sales, including indirect and induced impacts.
  • Tourism in the Sonoma Valley generated just over $60 million in tax revenues, including nearly $33 million in state and local revenues.
  • Including direct, indirect, and induced impacts, 3,022 jobs were sustained by visitors to the Sonoma Valley in 2017, with total income of $132 million.
  • 1 in 6 of all jobs in the region were sustained by tourism.

“Hospitality has been a part of Sonoma Valley’s history for more than 150 years,” said Hunt Bailie, president of the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau board of directors. “This report is a snapshot of how the local businesses that comprise the industry here are invested in our community and contribute in the forms of taxes, employment and quality of life.”

Norman Krug, chair of the Sonoma Tourism Improvement District, noted that, “We know that tourism is largely made up of small, locally-owned business throughout Sonoma Valley. This data helps us quantify the size of the industry and understand how it integrates into Sonoma Valley’s economy.”

Other findings of the report detailed that unlike economic sectors such as construction or financial services, tourism is not so easily measured because it is not a single industry. It is a demand-side activity which affects multiple sectors to various degrees. “Tourism” is in fact comprised of industries classified as retail, transportation, arts and recreation, accommodations, and food and beverage. As such, the economic activity of hospitality and tourism is not as easily captured or understood by the casual observer.

The data examined was for the 2017 calendar year, which was a record year until the wildfires of October 2017. The decline in visitation and spending during that period did affect the growth of the overall hospitality economy in the Sonoma Valley. According to Zachary Sears of Tourism Economics, “Tourism continues to play a key role in the Sonoma Valley regional economy. Visitor spending supports 3,000 local jobs for residents, and more than $18 million in local tax revenues. Despite recent challenges brought on by wild fires, the visitor economy continues to expand in Sonoma.”  

The report was jointly commissioned by the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau and the Sonoma Tourism Improvement District to better quantify the industry within the region as well as to provide accurate data for decision makers and stakeholders.

More information about the hospitality economy in the Sonoma Valley, as well as updated statistics, can be found at http://www.sonomavalley.com/media/stats/

The report is available in PDF form here: Sonoma Valley Region Tourism Economic Impact