The Sonoma Sustainable Tourism Observatory

Member since


Hosted by

Coalition to Observe and
Advance Sustainable Tourism

Monitoring area

Sonoma County, California

The Coalition to Observe and Advance Sustainable Tourism (COAST) is a not-for-profit cooperation established in the State of California, USA. Under the umbrella of COAST, the role of the Sonoma County Observatory for Sustainable Tourism is to observe, monitor, evaluate, and report-on rapid-growth visitor-serving activities in its area, and to enable others elsewhere to learn from, and adapt, the sustainable solutions generated to that growth.



Through the identification and quantification of data, the main objectives of the Sonoma County Observatory for Sustainable Tourism is to monitor, report on and improve the sustainability of tourism in the Sonoma County destination area to create high value information to allow the many examples of best practices being pursued in Sonoma County to be replicated in the destination area and elsewhere in the UNWTO network.

Current Monitoring Processes

Tourism is presently monitored by multiple agencies of county and state government in California, including the Sonoma County Economic Development Commission (EDC), and the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. Sustainability is monitored by the County’s Planning Resource and Development Department (PRMD) and by independent organizations including Sonoma Ecology Center and Sustainable Sonoma. The Observatory is integrating data from these sources into a single monitoring and reporting system.


  • Impacts of agricultural-tourism growth in an environmentally sensitive rural area
  • Loss of funding for tourism and historical destinations
  • Water scarcity in a drought-prone area
  • Impacts of the sharing economy
  • Climate-change responsiveness and resilience
  • Employment and local living opportunities across cultures


Sonoma County is one of the largest counties in the nine-county San Francisco metropolitan area. It is largely agricultural, with 447 wineries, miles of rugged and scenic pacific coast line and towering redwood forest. As an established tourist destination, Sonoma County produces the largest amount of travel related spending in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been a significant pioneer in support of sustainability through its policies and action programmes.




Founder/Chair, Observatory Organizing Committee

Sonoma County Sustainable Tourism Observatory


Website Observatory | Website COAST