San Francisco Travel Reports Record-Breaking Year for Tourism

The San Francisco Travel Association reported today that San Francisco welcomed a total of 24.6 million visitors in 2015, an increase of 2.7 percent from 2014.  This included 18.9 leisure visitors (up 2.7 percent from 2014) and 5.8 million business travelers in 2015 (also up 2.7% from 2014).

In 2015, the 24.6 million visitors brought $9.3 billion in spending to San Francisco.  Visitors directly spent $8.5 billion in the city, up 3.4 percent from the previous year.  An additional $723 million was spent by meeting planners and exhibitors for goods and services for their meetings.  For the year, total spending in San Francisco related to meetings and conventions reached $2 billion.



Of the 24.6 million people who visited the city last year, 10.183 million were overnight visitors and spent $7.4 billion dollars.  International overnight visitors totaled 2.85 million and spent $4.65 billion, which represented 63 percent of all overnight spending.  Overnight visitors from the United States totaled 7.33 million and spent $2.76 billion, representing 37 percent of all overnight guest spending.  Sixty two percent of all overnight guests stayed in hotels in the San Francisco.

SF Travel Skyline project

SF Travel Skyline project

San Francisco Travel has developed a new research model using internal data and curated research in conjunction with Tourism Economics.  Several years of lodging data was curated by San Francisco Travel using research from STR (formerly Smith Travel Research) and PKF Consulting.  Data for flight volume was provided by OAG (formerly Official Aviation Guide) and San Francisco International Airport.  Domestic visitor data was collected by Longwoods.   International visitor data by country came from Tourism Economics’ Global City Travel database and global visitor surveys by Destination Analysts as well as tax and household data.  Group sales statistics were drawn from USI, San Francisco Travel’s CRM (customer relationship management) platform.



“These record-breaking numbers once again prove that tourism is the most important industry in San Francisco.  The 24.6 million visitors and $9.3 billion in spending create jobs and support services for people throughout the city and the entire Bay Area,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel. “We are experiencing sustained growth in all market segments – domestic, international, leisure and business – as a result of our highly professional and sophisticated community of hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations and SFO, one of the finest airports in the world,”  he added.


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 1,500 partner businesses, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country.