Napa Valley tourism generated $1.92 billion in visitor spending in 2016, a 17.5 percent increase since the last survey was done in 2014.
Figures released Wednesday from Visit Napa Valley, the county’s tourism agency, indicated 3.5 million visitors came to Napa, an increase of 6.3 percent from 3.3 million in 2014.
“The tourism industry continues to provide a significant positive impact to Napa Valley’s economy,” said Clay Gregory, president and CEO, Visit Napa Valley, in the announcement. “We also see a continued rise in visitors from China, overtaking Canada last year as the top international market, with 17.6 percent staying overnight in Napa Valley.”
The largest component of visitor spending was on retail, which accounted for 40 percent, or $768 million. Next in visitor spending was on restaurants, at $438 million, or 23 percent. Group meetings and events, including weddings, generated $196 million.
Most of the spending came from hotel guests, who were responsible for $1.34 billion, or 69.9 percent of the total.
Hotel guests in 2016 spent an average of $401.59 per person daily, compared with $146 by day-trippers. Overnighter spending increased 3.34 percent from $389 in 2014.
The visitor industry generated $80.4 million in tax revenues last year. That is an increase of 25.2 percent from $64.2 million in 2014.
Wine-tasting remains the most popular visitor experience. The average tourist visits 3.1 wineries.
One in five visitors said they were either “likely,” 12.4 percent, or “very likely,” 8.5 percent, to join a wine club during their visit.
Two-thirds of the guests surveyed, 67.4 percent, said they were either “likely” or “very likely” to purchase wine at a winery to take home, and 56.8 percent of respondents said they had purchased wine during their visit.
Tourism is one of the largest industries in Napa Valley. It supports an estimated 13,437 jobs, up 14.1 percent from 11,776 in 2014. Payroll totaled $387 million in 2016, up 16.5 percent from $332 million in 2014.
CORRECTION: An increase of 6.3 percent of visitors was from 2014, not 2015.
Napa Valley tourist activities
Wine tasting at wineries: 72.7%
Dining in restaurants: 52.6%
Winery tours: 39.8%