Hotel Online  Special Report


 2005 San Francisco Numbers Show Increase in Tourism, Dollars
May 12, 2006 - The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) announced at a press conference with Mayor Gavin Newsom today that the number of visitors to San Francisco in 2005 was 15.74 million, up 4.1 percent from 2004.  Visitors spent $7.37 billion dollars, an increase of 9.5 percent over the previous year.

These numbers are good news for the local economy, not just the tourism industry. The San Francisco visitor industry generates $418 million in taxes, supports 66,315 jobs and has an annual payroll of $1.80 billion based on research conducted by the SFCVB Education and Research Foundation and Economics Research Associates (ERA). Tax revenue generated by tourism helps support city services such as police, fire, parks and recreation, schools, arts and cultural organizations, and other city programs.


1 Includes expenditures by associations sponsoring meetings & conventions and by exhibitors at trade shows at Moscone
Center, using 2004 expenditure data provided by Destination Marketing Association International.

The timing of the announcement coincides with National Tourism Week, May 13-21, when destinations throughout the U.S. focus on the impact of travel and tourism in their area. The $645 billion travel and tourism industry is a primary growth opportunity for the U.S. economy, according to the latest data from the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA).

"Tourism is vital to the San Francisco economy," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "As the City's largest industry, it creates jobs and raises revenue for programs that benefit all of the City's residents. At the same time, tourism allows us to share the natural beauty and cultural diversity of San Francisco with the rest of the world." 

At the press event the SFCVB also rolled out its expanded Web site and new domain name,, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start to the American tourist season.

" is the best way to book more of San Francisco," said Diane DeRose, vice president of marketing for the SFCVB. "As the City's official tourism marketing agency, we make it easy for travelers to 'find it, plan it and book it' on this site."

Among the visitor-friendly features on the re-vamped site are:

  • Extensive content and trip planning services including searchable content by neighborhood and pricing for lodging, dining and shopping
  • Options to purchase hotel accommodations with a "best rate guarantee" as well as admission to such major attractions as the San Francisco Giants, de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the African Diaspora, Asian Art Museum and Exploratorium
  • Options to register for events such as the San Francisco Marathon and Escape From Alcatraz
  • Links to the Visa Preferred Travel program which offers more than 300 value-added offers when visitors use their Visa card
The latest iteration of the Bureau's Web site is part of its ongoing "Only in San Francisco" marketing campaign launched in June, 2004.

When the campaign premiered, DeRose noted, "Our inspiration was San Francisco itself, a place unique literally from the ground up - its geography, landmarks, originality, traditions, cultures, tolerance and diverse inhabitants." 

Founded in November, 1909 as the San Francisco Convention and Tourist League, the SFCVB is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the City as a leisure, convention and business travel destination.  

The SFCVB's mission is to strengthen the San Francisco economy by marketing the City as a destination for meetings, conventions, tradeshows and leisure visitors through sales, advertising and promotion, and to provide the visitor and convention attendee, services that enhance the Bureau's effort and the visibility of its members.  With nearly 1,700 member businesses, the SFCVB is the largest membership-based tourism promotion agency in the country.

The Bureau is located at 201 Third St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103.


Laurie Armstrong

Also See: San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Rebrands itself 'Only in San Francisco.' New Theme Incorporated into Bureauís Marketing Efforts / June 2004
San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Reports Visitor Statistics for the First Five Months of 2005 Trending Upward; Hotel Occupancy, Average Daily Room Rate and Airport Arrivals All Up / July 2005


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