San Francisco tourism rebounds in 2022, full recovery not until 2025
The San Francisco Travel Association (SFTA) predicted marked increases in visitor volume, visitor spending, group business and hotel occupancy this year versus 2021 at its annual Visitor Forecast Forum. and accommodation.
According to the association’s latest projections, San Francisco will receive 21.5 million visitors in 2022 compared to 17 million visitors in 2021, an increase of 26.5%. Visitor spending is expected to rise 89.3% in 2022 to $6.7 billion, but down 30.2% from 2019, when the city had a record 26.2 million visitors and 9 $.6 billion in visitor spending.
“We are clearly on the road to recovery, but we still have some way to go before we reach pre-pandemic tourism levels. San Francisco will not experience a full recovery until travelers from Asia return. not and that business travel and group activity will not increase,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel.
Factors driving this year’s recovery include an increased volume of domestic overnight visitors and international visitors. In 2022, more than 6.9 million domestic overnight visitors are expected, an increase of 33% over 2021. Forecasts indicate that San Francisco will welcome 1.5 million international visitors, an increase of 163 % compared to the previous year.
According to data provided by Tourism Economics, overnight domestic business travel was up 134% from 2021 and spending was up 152%, but both were down more than 30% from 2019.
The outlook for 2023 calls for sustained gains with approximately 24.5 million visitors and $8.9 billion in visitor spending. Current projections from San Francisco Travel indicate that visitor spending will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, and that global visits will not reach 2019 levels until 2025.
Compared to 2019, international visitor volume was down 50%, with only half of the three million international visitors from 2019 projected in 2022. The return of international travelers is essential for San Francisco’s continued economic recovery. International overnight visitors accounted for $5.1 billion of the $9.6 billion in total visitor spending in 2019. This year, international overnight visitors are expected to contribute 46% ($3.1 billion) of $6.7 billion in visitor spending.
“One of our top priorities is to increase international visits, as this segment stays the longest and spends the most,” D’Alessandro said. “We are delighted to see an increased number of visitors from countries where we have focused our marketing efforts this year, given the ongoing travel restrictions in parts of Asia.”
According to data provided by Oxford Economics, the top international inbound markets for San Francisco visitor volume are Mexico (up 51%), UK (up 666%), Canada (up 499%), Germany (up 226%) and India (up 142%). Key overseas markets also include France (+412%) and Australia (+798%). The US government lifted Covid-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on November 8, 2021.
Data from Amadeus/TravelClick shows that the states outside of California that attract the most visitors to the city are Texas, New York, Florida, Washington and Illinois.
Regional visitor growth up 21.4%
Visitor growth for the entire region, including the Peninsula, East Bay, Marin and Wine Country (Napa and Sonoma counties), is expected to be 49.8 million this year, up from 41 million visitors in 2021 and 57.7 million in 2019. Spending by regional visitors is expected to be $14.3 billion, up from $9 billion in 2021 and $19.7 billion in 2019.
The city of San Francisco historically accounts for 45% of total regional volume and 49% of spend. The peninsula and wine country are expected to record the highest number of visitors in 2022 after San Francisco with 9.1 million and 8.7 million visitors respectively.
In 2023, regional forecasts call for 54.5 million visitors and $17.8 billion in visitor spending.
Hotels are seeing an increase in occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room
San Francisco’s ranking among the top 25 U.S. hotel markets rose from 13th in 2021 to 5th for the month of June 2022. The city’s hotel occupancy rate is expected to be 58.6% in 2022, a 67% increase from 2021 but still down 28.7% from 2019. The average daily rate (ADR) is expected to be $230.25, a 41% increase from last year but a decrease of 16% compared to 2019. Revenue per available hotel room (RevPar) is expected to increase by 104% compared to 2021 but remains down 37.4% compared to 2019.
In 2023, San Francisco Travel expects further improvement. Occupancy is expected to be 72.5% with an ADR of $252.62 and a RevPar of $183.10. However, hotel occupancy is not expected to reach 2019 levels until 2025, although ADR is expected to slightly exceed 2019 figures by 2024.
Conventions Return to San Francisco
After the omicron variant Covid-19 negatively impacted the first quarter, business travel and conventions rebounded in the second quarter. Growth in convention business has been significant given that Moscone Center only reopened in September 2021. Last year, five events were held at Moscone Center, with 16,500 attendees representing 17,100 room nights. This year, conventions at the Moscone Center are expected to account for nearly 350,000 overnight stays.
In 2022, 34 events are confirmed for the Moscone Center with 308,700 expected attendees. However, tracked nights for citywide conventions remain well below pre-pandemic levels when 970,000 convention room nights were discounted.
Overnight stays in convention halls planned for 2023 increased by 84% compared to this year, with 637,753 final overnight stays and 25,678 provisional overnight stays.
San Francisco International Airport expects more than 40 million passengers in 2022
The SFO forecasts it will see more than 40 million passengers in 2022, up around 16 million from the 24 million passengers seen in 2021. The airport forecasts it will return to traffic levels of 58 million. 2019 annual passengers between 2024 and 2026.
This year, SFO has seen a steady return to service with 38 international carriers operating there, including three new ones, Flair Airlines, Air Transat and Condor, plus a new domestic carrier, Breeze Airways. In 2019, SFO had the fourth most international carriers operating at the airport compared to all US airports. This summer, SFO climbed to third place.
Passenger load factors were high for most of the summer, with almost all interior seats occupied. Europe, Mexico and Oceania also experienced extremely high load factors this summer. Capacity on European routes is largely recovered, with 93% of seats available this summer. Latin America is one of the best performing markets for SFO, almost reaching 2019 levels. Canada is close to 80% of pre-pandemic levels with strong demand for SFO after the borders fully reopen. The Middle East/India region is above 2019 levels, and the Oceania region is around 70% of 2019 levels, but is expected to increase this winter.