Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive

San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Reports
Visitor Spending Up 3.3% for 2008 

May 11, 2009 -- The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) has released its annual estimate of the economic impact of the tourism industry in San Francisco. The estimate showed moderate growth in the industry that brings more outside dollars into San Francisco than any other.  In 2008, San Francisco welcomed 16.4 million visitors, an increase of 1.7 percent over 2007. These visitors spent $8.52 billion in 2008, an increase of 3.3 percent over the previous year.


“2008 was a strong year for tourism in San Francisco; 2009 is much more challenging as is the case for all destinations,” says Joe D'Alessandro, SFCVB president and CEO. "The economic uncertainty is affecting travel across the board and around the world.  Our job of attracting visitors is much tougher this year than it was in 2008. In a downturn, the focus is on market share - getting a bigger piece of a smaller pie."


The tourism industry generated over $527 million in taxes for the City of San Francisco, up six percent from the previous year. 


In 2008, there was an average of 131,722 visitors in San Francisco each day.  Visitor spending equated to $22.33 million daily.


Tourism supported 72,856 jobs in 2008, an increase of .9 percent from 2007, with an annual payroll of $2.01 billion.


According to PKF Consulting, hotel occupancy in San Francisco in 2008 was 79.2 percent, up from 78 percent in 2007; with an average daily rate of $190.28, representing a 3.7 percent increase from 2007. 


The SFCVB also recently concluded a year-long study of traffic to the city's official visitor Web site,  The study showed that for every 1,000 visitors to the site, $15,850 in direct spending is generated in San Francisco based on incremental visits and extending stay. The Bureau expects to attract at least 3 million unique visitors to the site in the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2009.


To attract Northern Californians, the SFCVB recently launched “Escape to the City,” a communications and social media campaign the encourages regional residents to take advantage of the world-class getaway right in their own backyards by taking a vacation in San Francisco this summer.  Videos of San Franciscans giving “insiders tips,” special offers and other enticing information is available at


In addition, the SFCVB has kicked off a cooperative advertising campaign centered on four blockbuster museum exhibits in San Francisco this summer.  Ads will appear in regional editions of media including Conde Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker and will promote traffic to a special ArtSF microsite,


Reservations are now being accepted at  for the “second helping” of the SFCVB’s popular Dine About Town prix fixe restaurant promotion which runs June 1 - 15.  A launch party will be held on May 28 at 6 p.m. in The Cellar at Macy's Union Square.  Nearly 33,000 diners participated in the Jan. 15 – 31, 2009 Dine About Town promotion, generating over $1 million in restaurant revenue through online reservations. 


The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the City as a leisure, convention and business travel destination. With more than 1,800 members, the SFCVB is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. The SFCVB business offices are located at 201 Third St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103. The Bureau 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


Laurie Armstrong
Vice President, Public Affairs
San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau
201 Third Street,Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103-3185
T 415-227-2615 F 415-227-2602 M 415-290-6830


To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.