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Visit Tuolumne County Releases Tourism Impact Stats

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Sonora, CA – While celebrating its 40th anniversary, Visit Tuolumne County (VTC), a private, non-profit, destination marketing organization, got some good news: a growth in travel spending in the county.

The figures were tabulated by Visit California in its 2022 Travel Impact Report, which was prepared by Dean Runyan Associates as part of National Travel and Tourism Week and California Tourism Month. The numbers show that overall total direct travel spending in the county increased from $241 million in 2021 to $251 million in 2022.

The $10 million increase in local tax contributions includes transient occupancy tax, or TOT, money. That has helped offset household income taxes by $954, according to VTC, and added 290 tourism-related jobs, with a breakdown of the numbers showing an increase from 2,260 in 2021 to 2,550 last year.

“We are thrilled to see a healthy growth in tourism spending in Tuolumne County,” stated President and CEO of Visit Tuolumne County Lisa Mayo. “Over the past 40 years, we have been growing Tuolumne County’s tourism economy, and we look forward to continuing to build a robust marketing plan and continue a healthy trajectory for tourism growth.”

Key markets, according to VTC, are national and international visitors, who tend to stay longer and spend more while visiting a destination. In 2022, VTC targeted those areas, expanding its national markets to include Washington, Nevada, Texas, and Arizona, and internationally to include Mexico. There was also a re-launch into Canada while continuing marketing efforts in the UK and Ireland.

“We have received reports from many of our partners that they are seeing an increase in visitors from Mexico and Canada. While our website reports show increased visitation from all our expanded markets,” remarked Mayo.

Mayo also shared that another key initiative for tourism growth during off-peak and mid-week times is using the county’s unique spaces and outdoor adventures for board meetings, team building, and retreats. Bookings that VTC has already assisted in making across the county. It is also a marketing tool Mayo says VTC has already invested in with meeting and group advertising, along with offering a refreshed incentive offer and meeting planner guide. For more information on VTC, click here.

Of note, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors recently discussed whether to reduce the current 20% of Transient Occupancy Tax revenues (around $1.75-million) to support VTC to around $500,000 as a possible set amount going forward, as earlier reported here. At this time, the board has not made any decision on whether to reduce VTC funding.