The San Francisco Travel Association has reported that it welcomed a total of 25.8 million visitors to the city in 2018 – an increase of 1.2% over 25.5 million in 2017.
Total spending by visitors was $10 billion, up 2.3% over $9.8 billion in 2017 (including spending on meetings and conventions).
Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel, commented, “This is the ninth consecutive year that we are able to report record-breaking outcomes for San Francisco’s tourism industry. The 25.8 million visitors and $10 billion in spending created 82,538 jobs and supported services for people throughout the city and the entire Bay Area.”
The city’s mayor, London Breed said, “San Francisco is an incredible city that continues to draw people from all over to visit and enjoy the city we all know and love. These visitors explore our neighborhoods, shop at our small businesses, enjoy our restaurants, and help support our local economy. I am committed to working every day to make our City a better place for everyone, whether they live here or are visiting from the other side of the world.”
Optimistic about 2019
As for 2019, D’Alessandro noted that, “While visitor growth last year was modest, we saw a larger increase in visitor spending. We are optimistic for the rest of 2019 and currently have more room nights on the books than ever before, thanks to the recently expanded Moscone Center.”
And he added, “In the year ahead, we are looking forward to continued growth in convention bookings, and we are preparing for a complete brand re-fresh, to be rolled out at our Annual Luncheon on June 27, which will help us stand out around the world.”
International visitors again comprised 28% of overnight visitors and 61% of all overnight visitor spending in 2018. San Francisco welcomed 2.9 million international visitors in 2018, very similar to the number in 2017.
The top five markets for visitor volume in 2018 were Mexico, China, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. The fastest growing international markets were Brazil, France, India and Taiwan..
For 2019, international visitor volume is expected to grow by 3% with growth expected from China, South Korea, Brazil, India and Canada.
Go to www.sftravel.com for more.