For the 10th year in a row, the San Francisco Travel Association is forecasting record levels of visitor volume and spending for 2019.
San Francisco’s destination marketing organization is projecting a total of 26.2 million visitors to the city for 2019, up 1.5 percent over 25.8 million in 2018.
Total spending by visitors is projected to reach $9.56 billion. This is up 2.6 percent over $9.3 billion in 2018.
On the convention side, San Francisco Travel has set a new record for the Moscone Center. The year 2019 will be the first to have 1.2 million definite room nights booked. The previous record was 1.0 million room nights booked for 2014.
In another first, San Francisco Travel is also forecasting visitor volume and spending for the entire region, including the Peninsula (San Francisco International Airport, San Mateo, Redwood City), the East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward), Marin and coastal San Mateo County and wine country (Napa and Sonoma Counties).
Visitor volume for the region is projected to reach 57.7 million for 2019, with a total of $19.7 billion combined visitor spending. San Francisco Travel will continue to report this data going forward.
International Visitation and Spending
San Francisco Travel reports that the city will welcome 3 million international visitors in 2019, an increase of 2.0 percent over 2018. They are projected to spend $5.1 billion, up 2.8 percent from $4.9 billion in 2018.
International visitors should comprise 29 percent of visitors and 62 percent of all overnight visitor spending in 2019.
Some of the strongest visitor growth will be in the Asia/Pacific markets of India and South Korea. The top five international markets for visitor volume are Mexico, China, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. The top five international markets for visitor spending are China, United Kingdom, India, Australia and South Korea.
“Despite some headwinds, China remains San Francisco’s most important overseas visitor market in spending and volume. San Francisco Travel continues to invest in new direct-to-consumer marketing programs to maximize the long-term potential of the market,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel.
Overnight visitor volume and spending from domestic markets also grew, though more slowly at 2 percent.