San Francisco Travel Association Releases 2012 Economic Impact Figures

Visitor spending up 5.5 percent from 2011. Visitors to San Francisco up 1 percent.

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San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) March 30, 2013

The San Francisco Travel Association reported today that San Francisco welcomed 16.51 million visitors in 2012, an increase of one percent from 2011. These visitors spent $8.93 billion in 2012, up 5.5 percent from the previous year. The data was presented during the eighth annual Northern California Visitor Industry Outlook & Marketing Conference today at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

“Visitor spending reached the highest level ever in 2012,” said Joe D'Alessandro, San Francisco Travel president and CEO. "The total number of visitors is climbing steadily as well.”

The tourism industry generated $562 million in taxes for the City of San Francisco, up 6.7 percent from the previous year. The number of jobs supported by tourism rose 3.6 percent to 74,009 jobs in 2012, with an annual payroll of $2.18 billion, an increase of 6.2 percent.

In 2012, there was an average of 131,128 visitors in San Francisco each day. Visitor spending equated to $24.46 million daily (including spending related to meetings and conventions).

Convention bookings were at 48 percent of goal at midyear and are on target to achieve the annual goal of 2,105,500 booked room nights which is a five percent increase over last year. Six conventions in San Francisco have received record breaking attendance in the past six 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.

Among the many things that will keep the momentum going for San Francisco’s tourism industry are:

  •     The Bay Lights, a fine art piece installed on the western span and viewable from San Francisco and points north. The March 5 launch of the lights was covered by media around the world. Measuring 1.8-miles-long and 500-feet-high, the high-tech light sculpture design features 25,000 individually programmable, energy-efficient LED lights mounted on the bridge's vertical cables. The Bay Lights will remain on the bridge for two years and is projected to add $97 million to the local economy. Learn more at http://www.thebaylights.org.
  •     On April 17, 2013, the new Exploratorium, San Francisco’s internationally acclaimed museum of sciences, art and human perception, will open on Piers 15 and 17, located on San Francisco’s historic northern waterfront at Embarcadero and Green streets. The new museum will feature 150 new exhibits, a Bay observatory, outdoor gallery and free civic space. For information visit http://www.exploratorium.edu.
  •     The America’s Cup will bring sailing enthusiasts and media attention from around the world for a series of events:
  •     The Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series on Jul. 4-Aug. 30, 2013.
  •     The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, open to national teams of sailors aged 19-23 on Sept. 1-4, 2013.
  •     The America’s Cup Finals between the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, and the defending ORACLE TEAM USA on Sept. 7-21, 2013. Learn more at http://www.americascup.com.

To help keep San Francisco’s message in front of the leisure travelers that make up 54 percent of the total visitors (vacationers and weekend getaways combined), San Francisco Travel works with strategic partners including American Express®, California Academy of Sciences, CityPASS, Levi’s, Wells Fargo, Pier 39, BART and Amtrak to develop integrated marketing campaigns to increase visitation to San Francisco and enhance visitor engagement in market. In March, San Francisco Travel launched a hotel promotion offering visitors up to 40 percent off their hotel stay, and a $50 gift card when two or more nights were booked. The promotion will run through June 30 and can be booked exclusively through the sanfrancisco.travel/stay website.

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/) offers 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, 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.

Dine About Town, the annual restaurant promotion developed by San Francisco Travel Association, is celebrating its 12th year in 2013. The program generates an estimated $3 million in additional revenue to the city’s restaurants. The second half of the 2013 program will take place June 1-15 with more than 100 restaurants participating.

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 St. at the corner of Powell and Market streets. For more information, call 415-974-6900 or visit http://www.sanfrancisco.travel.

For an insider’s perspective, join more than 500,000 people who follow San Francisco Travel on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/onlyinsf and more than 100,000 who follow “OnlyinSF” on Twitter at http://twitter.com/onlyinsf.

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 31 international points on 30 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 75 cities in the U.S. on 15 domestic airlines. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit flysfo.com. Follow SFO on twitter.com/flysfo and facebook.com/flysfo.

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Note to editors: Photos and press releases are available at http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/media/.


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