The Visit Sacramento Tourism Office had another exciting, successful year. We welcomed more visitors to Sacramento than ever before. We also hosted more industry familiarization tours, which has led to more people actually seeing firsthand why Sacramento is such a great town.
2016 also saw our tourism team spend countless hours on the road spreading the word about Sacramento. We took our message all the way out to Canada, Alaska, Florida, Colorado, Iceland, Germany, Kentucky, France, the UK and New Orleans. Plus we even braved Las Vegas a couple of times.
And what were we telling everyone about?
Well, we told them that our “Farm-to-Fork” initiative continued to gain momentum as Sacramento hosted major agricultural conventions such as the Unified Grape Symposium, Farm Tank and even the California Craft Brewers Summit, which – as an added bonus – brings California's largest beer festival along with it. We also saw our local chefs gaining national recognition and our local farmers getting the credit they deserve for supplying the world’s finest produce. Sacramento even broke the Guinness World Record for most fresh food donated as the Sacramento Food Bank collected over 400,000 pounds of food donations in one day. Pretty proud of that.
And we told people about the new Golden 1 Center, our state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex that opened right in the heart of downtown with two nights' worth of Paul McCartney shows in October. The new arena brings the best in entertainment into a super-convenient location for visitors and locals alike. Plus, as a Sacramento Kings fan, I can confirm that it’s beautiful inside and a really nice place to watch your basketball team lose over and over again.
Plus, 2016 saw ground break on at least three new hotels that will open in 2017 so we can welcome even more visitors to town.
And, of course, we continually remind folks about all the things that have made Sacramento great over the years – history, outdoor recreation and great food and drink. Old Sacramento looks better than ever if you need your Gold Rush fix, and the State Capitol is still the best free museum in the state. There are more history, food, river and bike tours than ever before. Plus, we now officially have over 50 breweries in town, so we can all tip a glass to 2016 for that. Sacramento isn’t an obviously touristy town, but it continues to impress visitors with its welcoming neighborhoods, beautiful tree-lined streets and friendly who locals love their city.
And, sure all those things are great, but perhaps most importantly 2016 saw me re-enter the world of blogging. TourismHeWrote.com (yes, I decided to name it after my favorite TV show of all time) provides an inside (and hopefully humorous) look into what we do here in the Visit Sacramento tourism department. So far, I’ve covered topics such as what it’s like to attend an industry conference, bike riding in Sacramento and a list of my favorite tourism industry movies of all time. It might not be the most professional industry blog in the world, but it’s a fun time and a good way to keep up with what we’re doing in Sacramento.
So that’s it for 2016. It was a wild ride to say the least. As we plan for 2017, we have a ton of exciting things on the horizon. We look forward to sharing Sacramento with the world and hope you can swing by sometime. Let me know!
Happy new year!