No doubt bolstered by the Super Bowl, which took place in the Bay Area last February, San Francisco achieved 2016 tourism records for the seventh consecutive year, according to San Francisco Travel.
San Francisco drew a total of 25.1 million visitors in 2016 for an increase of 2.3 percent over 2015. Visitors to San Francisco city and county accounted for $9.69 billion in spending for an increase of 3.3 percent.
“The 25.1 million visitors and $9.96 billion in spending create jobs and support services for people throughout the city and the entire Bay Area,” says Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel. “We continue to see steady growth, especially in the area of visitor spending.”
The city drew 10.4 million overnight visitors and 14.7 million day visitors, setting 2016 tourism records with increases at 2.3 percent. Overnight visitors spent $7.77 billion for a 3.4 percent rise. The CVB estimates that direct spending from conventions and meetings was $754 million.
San Francisco continues to be a major international destination and established 2016 tourism records in several categories. The city drew 2.94 million visitors who spent $4.78 billion. International visitor volume increased 1.7 percent and their spending increased 2.6 percent for 2016 tourism records.
The largest overseas markets were China (478,000 visitors), United Kingdom (353,000 visitors) and Germany (273,000 visitors).
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is one of the a key reasons for the 2016 tourism records. SFO offers nonstop flights to more than 39 international cities on 33 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects nonstop with 77 cities in the United States on 14 domestic airlines.
Of course, the amenities at SFO are keeping pace with tourism records. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising, shopping and amazing local eateries. It’s even possible to take the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system from the airport to downtown and other major tourism hubs.
San Francisco is enhancing its ability to host major events with the expansion of Moscone Center, which will increase its size from 614,839 to 772,179 sq. ft. of usable space. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. To meet completion targets, Moscone North and Moscone South will be closed April to September this year. Moscone West will not be affected.