Agriculture & Tourism


Agriculture, Food & Wine: Overview

Agriculture is a mainstay of the economy in the Monterey Bay Region. The industry benefits from the land and air combination, not to mention the generations of talent and passion that have graced this area for years. Over 26 crops are grown in the region, earning it the nickname “Salad Bowl of the World.” More important though is the innovation that has been fostered in the Monterey Bay Region. Both iceberg and bagged lettuce – which have revolutionized the industry – were invented here. We also grow 90% of raspberries and Driscoll’s is the leading berry company in the world…so in addition to the “Salad Bowl of the World” we are the “Berry Bowl of the World.”  In fact, strawberries surpassed lettuce in Monterey County in 2013 as the highest value crop.

The region is the home to the Center of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UCSC, the oldest organic farming program in the nation, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), the second largest organic certification organization in the nation after the USDA, and the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), which performs organic farming research of all kinds.

The Monterey Bay Region often sets the standard for the agriculture industry as a result of its recent forays into high tech agriculture, as well as its history of pioneering leadership. Home to a USDA Agricultural Research Station and the Steinbeck Innovation Project, companies such as DoleMann Packing and Fresh Express have benefited from the support they receive from several educational institutions, and have helped to expand and enhance the global competitiveness of the sector.


Tourism & Hospitality: Overview   

With its hard-to-match natural beauty and physical attractions, tourism and hospitality in the Monterey Bay Region benefits from the fact that there are few places like it in the world. The area is recognized worldwide as a desirable destination, with excellent facilities, amenities and a variety of attractions.  The outdoor enthusiast will delight in the unparalleled beauty of Big SurPinnacles National Park, or the redwood forests of one of the many state parks in the region.  Golfers dream to play at such courses as Pebble BeachSpyglassCypress PointPasatiempo and over 20 others in the region.

Families delight in spending the day at the acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium or the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  Wine lovers taste some of the best chardonnays and pinot noirs in the world.  Artists, musicians and theater goers revel in the galleries of Carmel and the vibrant arts culture in all three counties, including many summer art and music festivals as well as wonderful local performing arts.For the most hardy, there are runs, walks, surfing, kayaking, mountain bike riding, kite surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, whale watching, road biking, and every other imaginable sport—all in in the most beautiful place in the world!  For more information on tourism and hospitality in the Monterey Bay region, the links below will provide comprehensive information:

See More: Monterey County        See More: Santa Cruz County       See More: San Benito County


Agriculture & Tourism Data Tracker

Our Agriculture & Tourism Tool is an interactive dashboard that showcases key indicators for an in-depth look into two major key industries in the region.

Click here or the image below to begin your dashboard experience. Please note: You can scroll over each graph and click on the “gear” icon to delve further into the data. Dashboard may take a moment to load.


Geomapping of Total Farm Employment

Click on the image below to go to MBEP’s Regional Geomapping Tool to see an interactive detailed look at farm employment in the region.


Tourism Reports and Presentations

Several organizations have provided numerous reports and presentations about tourism in the Monterey Bay Region. 

Reports and Presentations:

See Monterey Visitor Statistics – Tourism facts and statistics about Monterey County on visitation, hospitality, assets, events and more.
Monterey County Convention & Visitor Bureau (MCCVB) Reports and Presentations – Various research and statistics on tourism in Monterey County including economic impact from several popular events in Monterey County and detailed visitor profiles.
Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council (SCCCV) Reports

Monterey Bay Aquarium Guest Highlights Report
Monterey Bay Aquarium Community Impacts Report
Visit California and Dean Runyan Associates Travel Impact Reports – Economic impact reports on tourism on the state, regional and county level with information on travel impacts, travel spending, travel employment and more.


Monterey Tourism – Infographic provided by MBEP on Visitors, Visitor Profile, Hotels and Total Addressable Market  for Monterey City
Cannery Row Tourism – Infographic provided by MBEP on Cannery Row Visitors and Hotels.