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Travel is essential to our regional economy

Thank you for your interest in finding out more about why travel matters to San Diego and the economic health of our region.

Tourism is San Diego's second largest traded economy contributing $16.4 billion in economic impact and employing 183,000 San Diegans. San Diego tourism also generates over $246 million in hotel room tax revenue collected from guests staying in our local hotels, which flows directly to the city's general fund to pay for roads, police, fire safety, lifeguards, parks and other essential services. Total taxes generated reached $705 million, which ultimately returns San Diego households $440 in tax savings.

So in essence, tourism not only drives our local economy, but supports our way of life and makes San Diego a better place to live, work and play. It also instills a deep sense of pride in those individuals who work in the tourism industry or call San Diego home.

Travel generates $2.1 trillion for the U.S. economy and supports more than 8 million jobs directly related to the industry. One in every nine American jobs depends on travel and tourism. In 2014, direct travel spending reached $927 billion and generated more than $141 billion in tax revenue. And travel now accounts for 10 percent of all U.S. exports.

For San Diego, the travel industry employs nearly 15% of all jobs in the region. The travel industry has a far larger economic footprint than many realize. More than transportation and lodging, travelers generate spending at restaurants, museums, parks and retailers. In fact, 70% of visitor spending is at businesses other than lodging. Traveler's spending is amplified 2.23 times through a ripple effect: as travel workers spend their paychecks in other sectors of the economy, and as vendors and suppliers receive contracts from travel businesses.

If you want to understand more about the impact of tourism in our community and how it relates to the San Diego Tourism Authority, read on.

> Download "San Diego Tourism Fast Facts" (PDF)

> Download Tourism: San Diego's 2nd Largest Traded Economy - A White Paper Discussion (PDF)

VIDEOS: San Diego Leaders Advocate for Tourism

Travel is essential to our regional economy

Hear from a few proud San Diegans working in the tourism industry about their story.

Adela Sanchez - Director of Housekeeping, Lodge at Torrey Pines

I am Adela Sanchez, and mine is a story of San Diego Tourism. I started as a room attendant at La Costa Hotel and Resort in 1973 and worked my way up through the ranks. Today, I’m the Director of Housekeeping at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.


Rod LaBranche - Director of Sales, Old Town Trolley Tours

I arrived in San Diego two decades ago with a communications degree from the University of New Hampshire and dreams of paradise.


Jason Knibb - Executive Chef, Nine-Ten

I've worked in restaurants alongside notable chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Roy Yamaguchi and Hans Röckenwagner, but I started out in the industry bussing tables.


Coco & Izzy Tihanyi - Co-Owners, Surf Diva

We grew up in San Diego and discovered our passion for surfing and joy for the ocean from our parents.

National Travel Tourism Week

San Diego Leaders Advocate for Tourism

Launch Expanded Video
US Travel Answer Sheet