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San Francisco CVB Reports on Years Activity
Also: San Francisco CVB Awards the 1998 Silver Cable Car Award to Sunset Magazine
San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces 1998--99 Officers
SAN FRANCISCO, June 10, 1998 -- At the annual meeting of its general membership today, the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau drew a crowd of 1,000 members and guests to hear a report on the status of the City's number one industry, celebrate the conclusion of a successful fiscal year, and observe the 100th anniversary of Sunset Magazine.

A Gold Rush theme was celebrated throughout the event in honor of California's sesquicentennial, celebrated from 1993 to 2000. The 150th anniversary of California statehood also marks the discovery of gold in California and the beginning of San Francisco's burgeoning visitor industry.

Out-going chairman Frank R. Kent, managing director of United Airlines, reported on another record-breaking year for the City's largest industry. "Over $6 billion was spent in this city as a direct result of travel and tourism. The number of visitors surpassed 16 million people," Kent said.

"When we fill our hotel rooms, and we did this past year at an average of almost 80% percent occupancy, everyone benefits -- restaurants, stores, attractions, all other visitor services, and our City's treasury," he said.

"We can also feel proud that, for the ninth time, San Francisco was voted the number one U.S. visitor destination by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine, and the readers' choice poll of Travel and Leisure magazine named San Francisco number one for the second straight year," Kent continued. "The Bureau continues to receive industry awards and commendations, including the prestigious Gold Service Award from Meetings & Conventions magazine and the Pinnacle Award from Successful Meetings magazine."

Evidence of the strength of the local meetings and visitor industry can be seen in the numeric results of the Bureau's work to fulfill its mission to promote San Francisco as a preferred destination for meetings, conventions, trade shows and leisure travelers:

A projected total of 800 meetings were booked in fiscal year 1997/98, 55 of these will meet in the Moscone Convention Center in the future; 745 will meet, self-contained, in individual hotels. These 800 meetings booked will utilize 1,467,000 hotel room nights. 
Throughout fiscal year 1997/98 the total number of travel agencies receiving assistance numbered 9,900. In addition, the Bureau's Tourism Division hosted 2,100 travel agents and tour operators in "fam" trips to familiarize them with the City. 
The multi-lingual staff at the Bureau's Visitor Information Center, located at Fifth and Market streets, assisted 740,000 walk-in visitors in fiscal year 1997/98.  In addition, they responded to 200,000 phone inquiries, 14,000 mall inquiries, and mailed 50,000 visitor kits. 
Journalists from around the world receiving assistance in person, by phone or mall numbered 1,260. Proactively, the Bureau's Public Relations Department distributed 47 news releases throughout the fiscal year. 

In-coming chairman, Cleopatra Vaughns, manager community relations, Blue Shield of California, touched on the programs and aggressive goals slated for the coming fiscal year. "The trendline for the Bureau and our industry as a whole is positive, and although there are some challenges in the international market, things are moving in the right direction on a national level. Once again, we're looking for the number of overnight hotel visitors to increase."

In other program highlights at Annual Luncheon, Bureau President/CEO John A. Marks introduced the new members of the Board of Directors; San Francisco MaYor Willie. L. Brown, Jr. addressed the gathering; and the prestigious Silver Cable Car Award for significant contributions to the visitor industry was presented to Sunset Magazine as represented by Steve Seabolt, president, chief executive officer and publisher of Sunset Magazine and Sunset Books.

The luncheon was held in the Esplanade Ballroom at Moscone Center.

The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to market the City as a leisure, convention and business travel destination. With more than 2,200 member businesses, the Bureau ranks as the City's largest business membership organization.


Laurie Armstrong 

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