The San Francisco Travel Association reported that San Francisco welcomed 16.35 million visitors in 2011, an increase of 2.7 percent from 2010. These visitors spent $8.46 billion in 2011, up 9.8 percent from the previous year.
The tourism industry generated $526 million in taxes for the City of San Francisco, up 8.6 percent from the previous year. Tourism supported 71,403 jobs in 2011 with an annual payroll of $2.06 billion. In 2011, there was an average of 129,499 visitors in San Francisco each day. Visitor spending equated to $23.19 million daily (including spending related to meetings and conventions).
"Our economic recovery continues but we have a ways to go," said Joe D'Alessandro, San Francisco Travel president and CEO. "We can look forward to the events of this year that will drive significant leisure travel as well as the strong convention bookings to keep the momentum going."
Convention bookings were at 49% of goal at midyear and are on target to achieve the annual goal of 2,000,000 booked room nights which is an 11% increase over last year. Nine conventions in San Francisco have received record breaking attendance in the past five months, continuing a trend that has been tracked since 1998. The likelihood of holding a well-attended event is a significant attraction for meeting planners considering San Francisco.
To help keep San Francisco's message in front of the leisure travelers that make up 54% of the total visitors (vacationer and weekend getaways combined), San Francisco Travel works with strategic partners including American Express, Levi's, Wells Fargo, Pier 39, and Amtrak to develop integrated marketing campaigns to increase visitation to San Francisco and enhance visitor engagement in market.
San Francisco Travel continues its marketing efforts targeting gay and lesbian (LGBT) travelers, a key visitor segment for San Francisco. San Francisco Travel's gay travel microsite, titled "49 Hours of SF: Out & About," (http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/lgbt/) has recently been redesigned, with LGBT focused itineraries, and an "Out with the Locals" section featuring San Francisco residents who provide "insider tips" on what to see and do in San Francisco. GayCities, American Express, Westfield San Francisco Centre and Kimpton Hotels are official sponsors of the campaign. A 2010 survey by Community Marketing, Inc. shows San Francisco to be the #2 overall destination of choice in America for LGBT travelers.
About San Francisco Travel Association
The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination. With more than 1,500 partner businesses, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. The San Francisco Travel business offices are located at 201 Third St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103. San Francisco Travel also operates the Visitor Information Center at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets. For more information, call 415-974-6900 or visit www.sanfrancisco.travel