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San Francisco Travel Association Celebrates the City’s Tourism Recovery

By M+E Staff

On Dec. 6, 2022, more than 600 travel and tourism leaders from across the Bay Area attended the 112th San Francisco Travel Association Annual Meeting at the San Francisco Masonic Auditorium. With San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed and former Mayor Willie Brown in attendance, among other leaders, Ike Kwon, board chair of San Francisco Travel, the official destination marking organization for the city and county of San Francisco, highlighted the successes of 2022 and plans to further drive tourism recovery in 2023.

 Among the highlights:

  • San Francisco Travel helped secure the 33 events held at Moscone Center in 2022, and upcoming events such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in 2023. 
  • San Francisco Travel also  attracted global sporting events, such as the SailGP Grand Final and the League of Legends World Championship in 2022, drove record direct leisure room night bookings through its marketing campaigns and, and boosted the return of international visitation led by visitors from Mexico, the U.K., Canada, India, Germany, France, and Australia.
  • 2022 visitor spending is forecast to be up 89.3% to $6.7 billion and visitation up 26.5% to 21.5 million visitors compared to $3.6 billion in spending and 17 million visitors in 2021 

“Perhaps most importantly, we changed the narrative about San Francisco in 2022. This wasn’t just about optics. We made real change in this city, and people took notice,” says Kwon, noting San Francisco being named to Time’s  “World’s Greatest Places” list this year, National Geographic’s “Best of the World,” and Travel + Leisure’s “50 Best Places to Travel” 2023 lists.

Additionally, The Wall Street Journal named San Francisco International Airport (SFO) the best airport in the country. Working in partnership with SFO, San Francisco Travel helped bring new airlift to the city this year, with recent new and increased service to Italy, India and other countries strengthening SFO’s status as the West Coast’s premier gateway to North America. 

“We have so much to celebrate in our city and the world is taking notice of what’s happening in San Francisco. I am so proud of what has been accomplished and remain committed to the work we still have to do,” says Mayor London Breed. “Of course, there are challenges, like any major city grappling with economic hardships brought on by the pandemic, but the city and our partners like SF Travel and the hospitality industry are doing the work to show people who we are, not what others say we are.”