Tourism in Napa Valley continues to grow in numbers, as revenue from hotel stays last year totaled $425 million, up from $375 in 2014, according to figures released at the Visit Napa Valley Annual Sales & Marketing Conference Thursday, at the Silverado Resort and Spa.
That resulted in a total of $47.4 million in transient occupancy tax (TOT) collected in 2016.
Despite the growth, however, Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel, cautioned that despite double-digit growth over the past seven years in tourism in San Francisco, which largely feeds the Napa Valley, that kind of continual uptick is not likely to be sustainable.
Speaking at the conference, both D’Alessandro and Visit Napa Valley President and CEO Clay Gregory said that emphasis on marketing to international travelers is more important now than ever.
Napa Valley saw an increase in international visitors over the year, at 20 percent, compared with almost 14 percent in 2014.
Visitors from China accounted for 5 percent of international visitors last year, and that is where both organizations are devoting extra effort. Statistics show that overseas visitors spend more time and dollars in hotels, versus day-trippers.
The two tourism boosters have intensified their relationship, and Napa Valley has been included in San Francisco Travel’s bilingual digital marketing to China, Germany, and other overseas countries.
San Francisco takes in $600 million in taxes from tourist spending, the largest in the state.
Closer to home, the City of Napa reported $18.1 million in TOT revenue over the past year. Compared to $9.8 million in 2011, that’s 84 percent growth. For the year 2017-2018 there was no projection given.
Yountville hit a record with $7.1 million in TOT, up from $6.8 million in 2015, reported City Manager Steve Rogers.
TOT accounts for 61 percent of the town’s annual budget.
With 451 hotel rooms, the town had an average occupancy rate of 76 percent for the year, and for September and October the average was 90 percent.
The average room rate for the year was $466, but for September and October jumped to a high of $589.
St. Helena reported TOT revenue of $2.1 million for 2016, with projected $2.2 million for 2017-1018.
Calistoga saw TOT revenue of $6.1 million during 2016-2017, with an average of 66 percent occupancy, and average room rate of $220. That’s up from $4.5 million in 2014, reported Chris Canning, mayor and executive director of the chamber of commerce of Calistoga.
With 742 hotel rooms, by the end of 2018, that town will see two new high-end resorts, adding 200 new rooms.
The town also hosted a number of record-breaking events in 2016, including the annual lighted tractor parade, which drew 15,000 people, up from 11,000 in 2014.
In the coming year, Visit Napa Valley, the county’s tourism booster, will continue to target the luxury traveler, and also the burgeoning international market.
Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at Cynthia.Sweeney@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.