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Power of Tourism

Tourism creates jobs, drives the local economy, enhances lifestyle and culture, and helps to support local government programs, nonprofits, and regional parks.

Tourism Means Jobs

The tourism industry is one of the largest employers in Sonoma County, with hospitality employment comprising one in 10 jobs. (22,330 jobs in 2018. Source: Dean Runyan/Visit CA: "Sonoma County Travel Impacts 2018").

Tourism Means Economic Prosperity

State and local government revenue generated by the local tourism industry ($194.8 million in 2018) is used to help support regional parks, economic development, arts and culture, education, roads, public safety, education, affordable housing and workforce development among other community programs.

Without these travel-generated tax revenues, each Sonoma County household would have to pay an average of $1,025 more in taxes each year to maintain the same level of public services. 

Additionally, local tourism supports opportunity and growth in other parts of the local economy. “Statistics show that hospitality and tourism has outperformed the aggregate of all other export sectors since 1998, with employment expanding nearly 10 percent in tourism while others showed negative gain of almost -1 percent. Econometric tests show that employment shifts in the visitor economy are followed in subsequent years by sustained changes in growth in other parts of the economy.” (Destination Promotion: An Engine of Economic Development, Oxford Economics)

Economic growth across all business sectors, keep Sonoma County thriving and relevant. A strong local economy is essential to supporting a healthy community.

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Tourism Gives Back to Our Community

Sonoma County's tourism and hospitality industry does much more than provide hotel space, restaurant meals, outdoor activities and entertainment, wine tasting, and gorgeous views - we care about our local community.

According to a recent report by Economic Forensics and Analytics, Inc, nine out of 10 Sonoma County hospitality businesses give back to their community. Local hospitality-related businesses donated more than $43.9 million annually in cash, in-kind, and volunteer-hour contributions.

Sonoma County Tourism Cares

Sonoma County Tourism organizes numerous Sonoma County Tourism Cares volunteer opportunities throughout the year. These events allow local tourism and hospitality employees to give back to the community and highlight just how much our industry cares. Contact Devin McConnell for information on how to get involved.

Destination Marketing is Essential to Sonoma County’s Success

Effective destination marketing creates opportunities and benefits for local businesses, government, public services, and residents in Sonoma County. To continue to see a year over year increase in tax revenue, Sonoma County needs to keep our marketing efforts on par with our competitors. Investing in our destination provides unlimited returns.

Events Matter: Case Study – Pliny the Younger 2019 Release

Sonoma County events draw visitors from all over the world.  Sharing our local culture and pride with visitors is something that leaves a lasting impression on each and every visitor. Events also leave an economic impression, and one that benefits all of us.

According to a recent study by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, Sonoma County received $4.2 million in economic impact from visitors who came from 42 states and 14 countries for Russian River Brewing Company’s annual special release of Pliny the Younger in February. View the Pliny The Younger Results 2019 here.

 National Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-11

national tourism week banner

Established in 1983 by President Reagan, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is the annual salute to travel in America. During the first full week in May, communities nationwide unite around a common theme to showcase travel’s contributions to the economy and American jobs.  This year, the travel industry is coming together to celebrate why “Travel Matters,” spotlighting a different way travel matters each day to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

national tourism week posters


National Travel and Tourism Collateral (downloadable)

Power of Tourism Toolkit