The Challenge

The Napa Valley is a destination known for great food, impeccable wine and beautiful scenery. Because of this reputation, the Napa Valley has enjoyed the benefit of steady tourism rates during past years but had not conducted comprehensive visitor research to better focus its marketing efforts. It also did not understand how much visitation had actually grown and the economic impact of that growth on the county. Since Visit Napa Valley had conducted little research into the destination’s visitors, they did not have actionable intelligence to work with in developing their advertising and marketing strategies. Their first step was hiring Destination Analysts to gain a better picture of who their current visitors are, and via our extensive visitor profiles research, understanding why they visit.

Our Solution

Destination Analysts conducted a major study of the area’s visitors and developed a comprehensive research-based visitor profile. As part of this visitor profiles research, Destination Analysts also assessed the economic impact of tourism on the county as a whole. The research plan implemented for this project included four components:

  • A self-administered survey of lodging guests was conducted at numerous lodging properties to determine the types of visitors that came to Napa Valley and stayed in paid lodging accommodations.
  • A visitor intercept survey was conducted on a random sample of visitors at a number of Napa Valley locations and attractions to understand more about visitors who did not stay in paid lodging, such as visiting friends and relatives (VFR’s) or day-trippers.
  • A supplemental telephone survey of Napa Valley homes was administered to quantify the number of VFR’s who stayed overnight in a private home.
  • Surveys of meeting planners and local area hoteliers were conducted to develop estimates of expenditures made to plan events in the area.


Destination Analysts developed a comprehensive visitor profile, reflective of all visitors to the Napa Valley area. Visit Napa Valley has used this research to better understand their visitors and gain strategic marketing insights. Utilizing our Destination Economic Impact Model, Visit Napa Valley has been able to estimate visitor spending and volume in detail. With these two assets, Visit Napa Valley can more effectively position itself to travelers and communicate the value of tourism to the local community.