Tourism and hospitality are an integral part of the economy for the United States, California, and Sonoma County. (Information reflects 2018 results.)
- Destination spending by travelers
- United States: $1.1 trillion
- California: $140.6 billion
- Sonoma County: $2.175 billion
- Government revenue in the form of taxes from tourism
(Used for parks, economic development, arts and culture, education, roads, public safety, education, affordable housing, workforce development, and more.)
- United States: $170 billion
- California: $11.8 billion
- Sonoma County: $194.8 million
- Tourism/Hospitality directly supports jobs
- United States: 8.9 million
- California: 1.2 million
- Sonoma County: 22,330 (1 in 10 jobs)
The Sonoma County Economic Development Board produces an excellent report on Transient Occupancy Tax, including where each government entity invests that money: Sonoma County TOT Reports.
TOT Assessment by City
- Cloverdale – 10 percent
- Healdsburg – 12 percent
- Petaluma – 10 percent
- Rohnert Park – 12 percent
- Santa Rosa – 9 percent
- Sebastopol – 10 percent
- Sonoma – 12 percent
- Windsor – 12 percent
- Unincorporated County – 12 percent
- Millions of visitors come to Sonoma County annually. Over the next few years, millennial tourists, who prioritize experiential travel, will grow in importance.
- Roughly 90 percent of Sonoma County's visitors are domestic travelers.
- The 10 percent of international visitors to Sonoma County mainly hail from Canada, Western Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Korea.
In Sonoma County (2018):
In 2018, total direct travel spending contributed $2.175 billion to the Sonoma County economy, up 4% year-over-year.
- Destination Spending = $2 billion
- Other travel = $175 million (Other Travel includes ground transportation and air travel impact and other travel arrangement services.
Visitor Spending by Type of Travel Accommodation totaled $1.999 billion, up 3% year-over-year. Spending by property type ($millions)
- Hotel, Motel $1,098.2 (+3% YOY)
- Private Home $176.3 (+6 % YOY)
- Campground $61.3 (+4% YOY)
- Vacation Home $108.8 (+4% YOY)
Visitor Spending by Commodity Purchased ($Millions)
- Accommodations $504.3 (+6% YOY)
- Food Service $558.4 (+3% YOY)
- Local Transportation $32.1 (+25% YOY) (including gas)
- Arts, Entertain, Rec. $351.4 (+.08% YOY) (including wineries, parks)
- Visitor Air Transport $12.5 (+12% YOY)
Day trips visitor spending $554.9 million (+1.7% YOY)
Travel Industry Employment: 22,330 (down 180 jobs YOY)
Information from Visit California / Dean Runyan and Associates "California Travel Impacts by County"
Tourism Business Statistics (2018)*
- 77 percent of Sonoma County tourism businesses are small (fewer than 25 employees)
- 85 percent of tourism businesses are locally owned, only two percent of these are franchises
- 43 percent have been in business for more than 20 years, 35 percent have been in business for 10 or fewer years
*Sonoma County Economic Development Board’s Annual Tourism Report
You can meet some of the "Faces of Sonoma County Tourism" and read their stories: Faces of Tourism.
- Sonoma County Tourism Indicators: Occupancy and Average Daily Rate 2011-2019
- County of Sonoma Economic Development Board
- EDB Quarterly TOT Reports
- EDB Annual Tourism Report
- Tourism and Restaurant Industries Reports (From County of Sonoma EDB)
- California Travel and Tourism Commission Research from Visit California includes build your own reports.
- Travel Industry Association of America
- Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport Passenger Numbers
Want to learn more? Destination Analysts is a research firm that publishes "The State of the American Traveler," an excellent snapshot of domestic travelers.