It is probably fair to say that most people don’t realize how much tourism directly impacts our local economy.
Whether travel is business, leisure, family/friends, sports or events-driven, every person who comes to Concord contributes to the city’s economic vitality through dollars spent on dining, lodging, transportation, shopping, and entertainment.
While some may not have thought of Concord as a typical tourist destination, in truth, we are fast becoming a first choice for both business and leisure travelers seeking a different kind of Bay Area experience. At first glance, visitors may be drawn to our sunny climate and convenient location, but the unexpected lure of a charming, historic downtown, buzzworthy local food scene, premium shopping, live music venues, epic outdoor recreation and variety of hotels, often brings them back for more.
Ultimately, Concord tourism not only creates jobs, it improves our quality of life here. In 2019, the city’s travel-related spending reached $ 184 million, supporting over 2,000 jobs in the tourism-related workforce. More than $13.1 million in state and local tax revenue from Concord tourism dollars went to help fund things like regional parks, economic development, arts and culture, education, roads, public safety, education, affordable housing, workforce development and other community programs. Without these travel-generated tax revenues, each Concord residence would pay more in taxes each year to maintain the same level of public services*.
Concord’s new Visitor Center, set to open this year, also promises to have a positive economic impact for the city through an enhanced downtown presence and more collaborative engagement with our many partners. In time, the Visitor Center will also offer tourism ambassador classes, pop-up events, artisan goods, exclusive Concord merchandise, business development opportunities and meeting space rentals. It is important to note that Visit Concord and the Visitor Center are self-funded through the 3% TID assessment tax, paid entirely by hotel guests (not the hotels themselves.) Hotel revenue in Concord totaled $45 million in 2019 and generated over 367,000 room nights.
Like every place else, Concord’s tourism has taken a hit this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and we are not out of the woods yet. But we do know that the situation is temporary and we will rebound. Now more than ever, thoughtful destination marketing is essential to Concord’s long-term economic health and the actions we take over the next one to two years will play a critical role in the speed and scope of its recovery. Visit Concord is encouraged, optimistic and ready to take on the challenges ahead.
*Tourism data provided by Dean Runyan and Associates, Concord, California Visitor Impacts study, 2014-2019.