Napa Tourism Fees Would Trickle Down to Tourists

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    RUTHERFORD, CA - JULY 12: A sign welcomes visitors to the Napa Valley July 12, 2006 in Rutherford, California. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that rising temperatures brought on by global warming could wipe out California's rich wine regions in Sonoma, Napa and Santa Barbara counties by the end of the century. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Napa Valley tourism industry leaders want hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns to contribute toward the cost of promoting tourism for the area.

    The Napa Valley Destination Council is pushing to create a tourism business improvement district, which would have hotels and inns help pay for promotions. The extra costs would be passed on to visitors.

    Clay Gregory, president and CEO of the council, says the tourism district would generate about $4 million each year. Currently, Napa County is paying $437,000 a year to promote the area.

    There already are 41 such tourism districts in California, and Gregory notes that Napa needs to catch up in spending to neighboring areas like Sonoma County to compete for business.

    A majority of Napa hotels and inns must approve the proposal for it to pass.

    The idea is getting some strong opinions from both sides of the debate.

    Here are a couple of comments from the Napa Valley Register's site:

    "Hotels in Napa Valley already have a 12% Transient Occupancy Tax, many have an additional $20 resort fee, and now the plan is to add another charge visitors will have to pay raising the already high cost of the hotel rooms in Napa Valley.
    Perhaps the decrease in occupancy is related to the price of the hotel rooms" - Napa Planner

    "I was looking through a magazine today and I did not notice one tourist ad for Napa. Sonoma County has some really good marketing strategies. Napa needs to step up to the plate." - vocal-de-local

    What do you think? Would an extra fee on hotels and resorts keep you from touring in Napa Valley?