dining group

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.

National Travel and Tourism Week, May 1-7, 2022

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 celebrating the “Future of Travel” to tell media, elected officials, and the public that the industry is setting its eyes on the future. A future where friends, family and colleagues can reconnect. Where hopping on a flight is just as easy, and better, than hopping on Zoom. Where traveling from one place to another is faster, more seamless and safer than ever before. Where inclusivity thrives and diversity drives innovation and connection. And a future where travel is once again the heartbeat of American communities and businesses, welcoming travelers from around the globe to dive into what can only be experienced here—and in person.

Sonoma County NTTW 2022 events and initiatives:

Stars of the Industry Awards 2022

The best and brightest of our local tourism industry will be celebrated on May 2 at the Sonoma County Tourism Stars of the Industry Awards at the Flamingo Resort & Spa. In recognition of this year’s NTTW theme “The Future of Travel,” one of the awards categories will be the “Innovation Award” honoring a hospitality business that has pioneered forward-thinking initiatives that represent the future of the industry. For full information on the event,  click here.

Lighting Pinot Purple for NTTW

For the third consecutive year, Sonoma County Tourism is encouraging, and helping to enable, local businesses to cast its properties in purple light (the official color of hospitality) the nights of May 1-7. For businesses with outdoor lighting, SCT is providing purple gels at no cost. Photos of participating businesses will soon be posted, but in the meantime, you can view a list of participants here.

Live Like A Visitor Experience

Throughout National Travel & Tourism Week (May 1-7), Sonoma County Tourism will be inviting residents to experience Sonoma County as visitors do by utilizing SCT’s new VisitWidget app to visit businesses, attractions, and activities. The first 100 individuals to complete the experience will receive a Sonoma County North Face beanie made from recycled yarn. All participants who finish will be entered to win an amazing Sonoma County staycation! Learn more at sonomacounty.com/llav.

Redwood Empire Food Bank Volunteer Event

As part of the weeklong celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week, Sonoma County Tourism will be holding a Tourism Cares volunteer event at the Redwood Empire Food Bank warehouse on Friday, May 6 from 7am-9am.

Tasks may include packaging fresh produce, assembling grocery boxes, or sorting donated pantry items for distribution. We hope you can join us in helping Redwood Empire Food Bank meet the needs of the thousands of vulnerable children, seniors, and adults requiring fresh food, groceries, and meals in Sonoma County. Those interested in volunteering can register here

Tourism Means Jobs

The tourism industry is one of the largest employers in Sonoma County, with hospitality employment typically comprising one in 10 jobs. (16,264 jobs in 2020. Source: Dean Runyan/Visit CA: "Sonoma County Travel Impacts 2020").

Tourism Means Economic Prosperity

State and local government revenue generated by the local tourism industry ($112 million in 2020. Source: Dean Runyan/Visit CA: "Sonoma County Travel Impacts 2020") 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.

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.

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 is honored to have sponsored and facilitated over 20 Sonoma County Tourism Cares events over the past four years. We are always grateful our generous tourism and hospitality industry for coming out in force to lend a hand and give back to a destination and that has given so much to us all.

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.

Power of Tourism Toolkit