Solano tourism is booming, local leaders say

May 14 2018

The Reporter By Kimberly K. Fu,, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter

Posted: 05/11/18, 7:02 PM PDT | Updated: 2 days ago



That’s the status of tourism in Fairfield as well as the state at large, officials advised Thursday at a gathering in the city sponsored by the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau, also known as Visit Fairfield.

Ensconced in a spacious room boasting wine barrels at Sonoma Harvest Olive Oil & Winery, guests noshed on gourmet eats by local eateries and sipped luscious local wines.

Tourism, explained Anand Patel, president and CEO of the Fairfield tourism arm, is all about the experience. In Fairfield, he said, that experience includes local food and drink purveyors.

Since his group’s inception in 2005, tourism has grown in leaps and bounds.

Some Solano-specific statistics through 2017:

• Total direct spending: $529.3 million in 2005, $682.9 million in 2017.

• Visitor spending with hotels and motels: $160.2 million in 2005, $232.9 million in 2017.

• Total direct employment: 8,300 jobs in 2005 and 9,140 in 2017.

“These numbers are amazing,” he enthused.

Everything feeds off tourism, he said, adding that there’s an abundance of opportunities to collaborate to make that happen.

Bob Burris , president and CEO of the Solano Economic Development Corporation agreed.

The aim Solano-wise is to market the cities along this slice of Interstate 80 as a destination, he said.

A new tourism task force has created a destination marketing plan toward this goal, he continued, with all area tourism entities working together.

“As long as we work together as a community and ensure each of us promotes one another ... we will definitely succeed,” Patel emphasized.