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Tourism Numbers

Updated Statistics on Tourism in Tuolumne County and the coming BIG EVENT!

Every year the California Travel & Tourism Commission sponsors a county by county survey by Dean Runyan & Associates, outlining the impact of tourism throughout the state. Because of the time it takes to compile the research and develop the report, there’s always a lag. The most recent report which came in after my last posting was for 2009 – the worst year for tourism in the nation in some time.

Coming on the heels of the Wall Street collapse, many major tourism destinations reported drops of 20-30% or more in 2009. Our drop averaged in the single digit range. Being within driving distance of the Bay Area and Sacramento helped us a great deal to continue attracting visitors.

Looking at a down year, here are the numbers and frankly, they look very good by comparison to much of the nation – a tribute the what we have to offer and the people who make visiting our area such a delightful experience.

Total direct spending in Tuolumne County by visitors in 2009 was estimated at $162 million a decline of about 6% from the previous year – still making a very substantial impact on our economy and still the largest private sector business.

Accommodations accounted for about $40 million while food and beverage added more than $46 million on top of that. Food stores sold over $9 million to visitors as well.

Visitors also spend money shopping and doing things while they’re here. Almost $26 million was spent on the arts and entertainment and another $25 million went into non-food retail purchases.

The balance was spent on transportation, fuel and other miscellaneous areas.

Total direct employment in tourism dropped slightly to 2,250 people.

Tax revenues did not drop: they remained constant bringing approximately $9 million in taxes with $2.6 million staying locally in the area. The state, however increased it’s share of the revenue reducing the county and city share by $200,000 from the previous year.

As I’ve mentioned in past postings, our numbers never include Black Oak Casino as being a tribal entity, they are treated separately and not included in county statistics.

On the trade show front, the BIG EVENT is coming to California later this month. Nanci Sikes, Executive Director and Sandy Gordon, Marketing Director of The Visitor’s Bureau will be going to San Francisco for the International Pow Wow put on the by US Travel Association. It is the largest event in the country designed specifically for international tour operators, travel suppliers and media who sell travel into the US from around the world.

Although it’s held in a different city every year, mainly on the East Coast; this is the first time its been in San Francisco for 19 years! More to come in future postings on what we’re doing around this event to showcase our area to the world’s travel industry buyers and media.