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Connecting Urban to Rural: Can the San Francisco- Napa Valley Relationship be Facilitated in Pennsylvania?

Alexis Solano[1] and Christopher Proctor

USDA Rural Development, Washington, DC, USA


San Francisco and Napa Valley have a unique relationship. Both are tourist destinations on their own but also have the infrastructure in place to ensure convenient access between the two areas. San Francisco boasts attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Pier 39. Napa Valley is one of the world’s most notable wine-producing regions. San Francisco is linked to Napa Valley through air travel, public transportation (Bay Area Rapid Transit - BART) and private transportation (San Francisco Bay Ferry). To add to this ease of access, many tour companies transport visitors in San Francisco to and from Napa Valley wineries. Visitors can experience both areas in a relatively short amount of time.

It may be possible to facilitate a similar relationship between other tourist destinations, such as Philadelphia and the wineries in its surrounding counties. Philadelphia has many historical attractions as well as a vibrant nightlife. Philadelphia is located near four counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery) that contain several wineries. Though some infrastructure is in place, the transportation links that San Francisco and Napa Valley have do not exist within the Philadelphia region.

The research presented in this chapter is a comprehensive guide for those entities, such as tour companies, who may be interested in establishing this relationship. First, the relationship between San Francisco and Napa Valley will be examined to understand whether Philadelphia and the surrounding counties may enjoy the same benefits. Then, Philadelphia and the wineries located near the city will be discussed. This discussion will include Philadelphia’s tourist sites, the wineries and the attractions they currently provide, and the existing transportation links and wine tours. Finally, a method to determine the demand for wineries, the travel cost method (TCM),1 will be presented. The TCM examines the potential and actual visitors’ demand for visiting wineries. This method considers the costs of travelling, the prices of wineries’ substitutes and complements, visitors’ household income, and visitors’ preferences and tastes for wineries and their attractions. Hypothetical attractions are also included as they may interest potential and actual visitors.

Ultimately, this chapter will provide a methodology to explore whether such links are possible between Philadelphia and wineries based on the demand for wineries. This research does not provide data analysis. The goal of this research is to present a starting point to wineries, tour companies or other entities, such as local government, so that they can determine if this demand exists. These entities, if interested, may want to consider consulting with a researcher to assist with the data collection, its analysis and the interpretation of the results.

  • [1] E-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it © CAB International 2017 Linking Urban and Rural Tourism: Strategies in Sustainability(eds S.L. Slocum and C. Kline)
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