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International Visitation to the Napa Valley Increased by 62 Percent from 2014 to 2016 with 728,000 International Visitors

May 8, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

In 2016, the Napa Valley welcomed a total of 3.5 million visitors, 20.8 percent of which (728,000) were from international destinations. China is now the top international destination for the Napa Valley, representing 5.3 percent of total visitation, or 185,500 visitors.

Napa Valley’s Top 10 International Markets by percentage:

  1. China 5.3
  2. Canada 3.7
  3. Australia/New Zealand 1.6
  4. Germany 1.3
  5. South Korea 1.2
  6. UK 1.2
  7. Japan 1.1
  8. Mexico 1
  9. Brazil .6
  10. Scandinavian countries .5

“The tourism industry continues to provide a significant positive impact to Napa Valley’s economy,” states Clay Gregory, president and CEO for Visit Napa Valley. “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,” adds Gregory. “In 2016, the Napa Valley visitor industry generated $1.92 billion in total visitor spending within the county, which represents a 17.5 percent increase since 2014, with visitor spending at $1.63 billion.”

The tool most commonly used by visitors (26.5 percent) to plan their trip to the Napa Valley was the official Napa Valley destination website

2016 Napa Valley Visitor Profile Results 

Key Findings

  • The average Napa Valley visitor in 2016 was 42.7 years of age, with 40 percent surveyed categorized as “Gen Xers,” and 30 percent as “Millennials.” Lodging guests were typically older (49.9 years) than day trip visitors (40.3 years).
  • Napa Valley visitors are an affluent group with an average annual household income of $161,229.
  • Napa Valley visitors are highly educated, with 74.8 percent having a bachelor’s degree and 29.4 percent who completed graduate school.
  • The average travel party consisted of 4 people (52.5 percent female and 47.5 percent male) 

Purpose of Visit

Visitors stated the primary reason for visiting the Napa Valley was for leisure purposes (a weekend getaway or vacation), representing 77.3 percent of all visitors.  Business travel represented 7.9 percent of visitors and wedding or special events represented 6.3 percent. 

Napa Valley Towns Visited

While visitors to the Napa Valley tend to visit multiple towns within the area, the City of Napa received the highest number of visitors in 2016 by percentage.

  • City of Napa:             7
  • Helena: 50.2
  • Yountville: 6
  • Calistoga: 7
  • Oakville: 5
  • Rutherford: 2
  • American Canyon: 9
  • Carneros area: 7
  • Lake Berryessa area: 6
  • Angwin: 7

  Napa Valley Attractions and Experiences

Below is a breakdown of how Napa Valley experiences were ranked by percentage in the 2016 visitor profile study.

  • Wine tasting at wineries: 72.7
  • Dining in restaurants: 52.6
  • Winery tours: 39.8
  • Shopping: 36.4
  • Wine tasting rooms (stand-alone): 20.6
  • Napa Valley Wine Train: 14.1
  • Spa visit or treatment: 10.7
  • Art galleries/art walks, etc.: 9.2
  • Bars or nightlife: 8.7
  • State or local parks: 8.1
  • Farmer’s markets: 7.8
  • Guided tours: 6.1
  • Hiking: 5.9
  • Festivals or special events: 4.9
  • Biking: 4 percent
  • Performing Arts: 3.2
  • Hot air ballooning: 2.8
  • Golf: 1.5
  • Canoeing/kayaking: 1.1
  • Organized athletic event: .3 


San Francisco Airport (SFO) was the most commonly used airport by Napa Valley visitors, representing more than 70 percent of all visitors. Oakland International Airport received 9.1 percent of visitors, followed by Sacramento International Airport, with 6.5 percent.

Find the full “2016 Napa Valley Visitor Industry Economic Impact” report as well as the “2016 Visitor Profile” report here.

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