The San Francisco
Travel Association is forecasting a total of 25.6 million visitors to the
city for 2017, up 1.8 percent over 25.2 million in 2016. Total spending
by visitors is projected to reach $9.22 billion, up 2.7 percent over $8.98
billion in 2016.
The new projections were announced at San Francisco Travel’s
Marketing Conference at The Ritz-Carlton,
“Our latest forecasts are positive overall but we have to
keep in mind that there are some challenges ahead,” said San Francisco Travel
President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro. “In each situation, we have developed
strategies to address the challenges on which we can have an impact but some
issues are still developing and we don’t know the extent that they will affect
tourism in San Francisco.”
“For example, two thirds of our convention center will be
closed for expansion construction from April to September. Though we are
working with the hotels and other venues to book self-contained meetings, we
are still forecasting a decrease in some meetings-related spending for the
year,” D’Alessandro said.
“However, while meetings related spending is forecasted to
decrease and will primarily impact hotel revenues and taxes, overall visitor
volume and spending should see positive growth,” he added.
“Internationally, the U.S. dollar is strong in some key
markets such as the United Kingdom, Europe and Canada, which may make travelers
more budget-conscious than usual,” D’Alessandro said. “Also, our
country’s reputation has taken some blows due to the recent executive order on
immigration. Though we don’t know what the administration’s next steps
will be or what impact it will have, this has the potential to dissuade people
who are ‘on the fence’ about visiting the U.S. This is why international
volume is forecasted to grow at only 0.3 percent in 2017. The majority of
2017’s visitor’s volume and spending growth is really stemming from the
domestic traveler as short-term budget cuts may increase personal household
income and temporarily spur an increase in domestic travel. That said,
international overnight visitors will continue to generate the lion’s share of
all visitor spending.
Overnight visitor spending is forecasted to represent 86.8
percent of all visitor spending. Overnight visitors should comprise 41.1
percent of the total, or 10.5 million people, and are projected to spend $8
billion. This is an increase of 2.6 percent over $7.8 billion in 2016.
Day visitors should total 15.1 million or 58.9 percent of the
total and are forecasted to spend $1.22 billion. This is an increase of 3.4
percent over $1.18 billion in 2016. Day visitors should account for
13.2 percent of all visitors spending.
International visitors are expected to account for 53.1
percent of all visitor spending and 61.2 percent of all overnight visitor
spending in 2017. They are projected to spend $4.9 billion, up two
percent over $4.8 billion in 2016.
San Francisco Travel expects to welcome 2.9 million
international visitors, an increase of 0.3 percent over 2016. International
visitors should comprise 27.5 percent of all overnight visitors and 11.3
percent of visitors in total.
The largest overseas market will continue to be China with 526,090 visitors
projected. This will be a 9.58 percent increase over 2016, which was up
11.36 percent above 2015.
The second largest overseas market, the United Kingdom, is forecasted to send 341,770 visitors, down 5.1
percent from 2016 due to economic variables in the U.K. Visitation from Germany, the third largest overseas
market, should remain relatively the same as the previous year with 264,340
visitors in 2017.
It’s expected that the fastest growing overseas markets for
2017 will be China (9.58 percent), India (6.93 percent) and South Korea (6.76 percent).
The figures for 2016 have been adjusted slightly since they
were first released in January 2017 as additional information was received.
Spending directly related to meetings and conventions in San
Francisco represented $1.97 million in 2016 and are forecasted to reach $1.85
million in 2017, a decrease of six percent, due to the closure of Moscone North
and South from April to September, 2017 for expansion. Moscone West will
remain open and operating.
The number of jobs supported by tourism in San Francisco rose
4.83 percent to 80,219 jobs in 2016. Visitor spending equated to $24.6
million daily or one million dollars per hour.
The tourism industry generated more than $724.9 million in
taxes and fees for the City of San Francisco, up .56 percent from the previous
year. Major contributors to that figure include hotel tax (53.4 percent)
and property tax (22.1 percent).
On a per capita basis, visitors spent $10,677 per San
Francisco household. Visitors generated $838 in taxes per San Francisco
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 1,300 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 One
Front St., Suite 2900, San Francisco, CA 94111.
San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information
Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900
Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level
of Macy’s Union Square.
(SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 39 international cities on 33
international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with
77 cities in the U.S. on 14 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi
with no advertising. For up-to- the-minute departure and arrival information,
airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation
and more, visit www.flysfo.com.