Tourism and hospitality are an integral part of the Sonoma County economy.
- The tourism industry is one of the largest private employers in the country, with leisure and hospitality employment comprising of 25 percent of the county total (Source: Sonoma County Indicators, 2017, Abridged).
- Government revenue in the form of taxes from tourism is more than $43.7 million per year (Source: Sonoma County Annual Tourism Report, 2018).
- This revenue is used for things like parks, economic development, cultural and historical festivals and events, affordable housing and other uses.
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 – 10 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 (2017):
- Annual travel-related spending: $2.1 billion
- Total taxes (government revenue) collected: $177.7 million
- Tourism industry employment: 22,700 jobs
- Total TOT Revenues: $43.7 million
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
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 2011-2018
- 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.