Recently approved district gives agency sorely needed fundingNAPA -- The Napa Valley Destination Council will aggressively target more visitors to get them to the region at more crucial times – during the off-peak season and hopefully for longer stays in Napa Valley.
That was the message from Clay Gregory, chief executive officer of the destination council, as specific marketing strategies of its tourism business improvement district were unveiled last week at the Business Journal's Impact Napa conference.
"Our job is not to just bring more people to Napa Valley," he said. "It's to bring folks who appreciate Napa Valley wines, who want to stay in great hotels, who want to eat at our restaurants, go to our spas and hopefully spend days, if not weeks, here."
Although already perhaps the most well-known wine destination in North America, Mr. Gregory said pure visitor volume alone would not be enough to boost the tourism economy that has suffered in the recession.
[caption id="attachment_23326" align="alignleft" width="115" caption="Clay Gregory"][/caption]
"We don't want [visitors] when we don't need them -- we want them to come at the quieter times of the year and during the week. So our focus is to bring targeted folks in January through April and during the mid-week period," Mr. Gregory said. "It's not just a 'more is better' thing, it's a very strategically thought-out thing, and I think that's very important not only for the success of the economy, but it's a community issue as well."
Napa Valley tourism highlights
By the Napa Valley Destination Council
Tourism in Napa County generates over $1.3 billion in economic impact annually.
The visitor-serving industry is the second-largest sector of Napa County’s economy.
Every 24 hours, guests of the Napa Valley spend approximately $4 million in local businesses.
The tourism dollar has a tremendous reach. Tourism spending affects 196 different industries in Napa County.
Tax revenue generated by tourism spending is about $125 million annually.
Tourism-generated tax revenue directly supports Napa County and its jurisdictions to provide police, firefighting and numerous social services.
If tax revenue generated by the visitor-serving industry was to disappear, the annual tax bill of each resident of Napa County would increase by more than $1,000.
The visitor-serving industry employs 17,500 people in Napa County.
More than $500 million in payroll is generated by visitor-serving businesses in Napa County.
The potential returns generated by effectively managing and marketing tourism in Napa County are enormous. If the NVDC’s targeted marketing activities were to stimulate annual visitor spending by just 1.5%, $20 million in additional direct visitor spending would be the result.
A study by California Tourism determined that every $1 invested in targeted destination tourism marketing results in $203 in visitor expenditures and $13 in tax revenue.
County lodging data
January--June 2009 vs. 2010
Source: Smith Travel Research
Occupancy: +5.6 percent
Average daily rate: –1.6 percent
The formation of the improvement district, known as a TBID, which was authorized in June by the Board of Supervisors, was the destination council's prized project, as Mr. Gregory and numerous others lobbied extensively throughout the county to gain support of hoteliers and the various city councils that needed to approve of it before final county approval.