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.
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, and I manage 50 employees whose livelihoods, like mine, depend on tourism.
My husband worked in San Diego hotels for 25 years. Together, we raised three daughters. Our third daughter is attending Stanford University. Our second daughter graduated from Chico State. Our oldest daughter graduated from Stanford and has recently graduated from Hastings School of Law.
We're proof this industry provides a chance for success to anyone willing to work hard. Join me in celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week, May 4-12, 2013.
My name is Adela Sanchez and Tourism Works for Me.
I arrived in San Diego two decades ago with a communications degree from the University of New Hampshire and dreams of paradise. I found my first job in two days: $4.25 an hour at SeaWorld making change for kids playing video games in Captain Kidd's arcade. I collected an extra $20 a night doing telephone surveys. These two jobs covered a summer rental - shared with four roommates - and left me enough money to rent a Chevy Monza for $200 a month, in cash. I didn't ask any questions; it got me to work.
And, I was on the move. I answered a help-wanted ad that set the course for my future: a front desk job at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina. That led to the concierge desk, nine years in the lodging industry, and the presidency of the San Diego Concierge Association. My next stop: Historic Tours of America as sales rep for the Old Town Trolley.
Today, I'm the Director of Travel Industry Sales countrywide for Historic Tours of America and found that dream of paradise in San Diego. Join me in celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week, May 4 - 12, 2013.
My name is Rod La Branche, and Tourism Works for Me.
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. I've always had a passion for food - both my mother and father cooked - so food was a big part of my life growing up. And it's a great feeling when you cook for someone and they enjoy it.
In San Diego, we have the perfect climate, and our local farmers harvest great products. In the summer, I enjoy the corn and heirloom tomatoes from Chino Farms. They grow the freshest produce, picked daily, that we bring back to the kitchen and serve the same day. And at Nine-Ten, we have a vertical garden where we grow herbs and other greens that grow easily, so it's delicious, and again fresh from the garden to the plate.
I'm proud to be a San Diegan, and the Executive Chef at Nine-Ten, especially when people on vacation wander into our restaurant, and we serve them world-class cuisine. San Diego has the freshest produce, and of course, with the Pacific Ocean as our backyard, the freshest seafood. Food is really about sharing and comforting, so it gives me joy knowing that I'm adding to someone's San Diego experience. Join me in celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week, May 4 - 12.
My name is Jason Knibb, and Tourism Works for Me.
We grew up in San Diego and discovered our passion for surfing and joy for the ocean from our parents. Our dad's a surfer and mom's a boogie boarder, so every day after school they'd take us to the beach where we'd do our homework and then spend the rest of the day surfing. After graduating from UCSD, we combined our interest for teaching and fashion with our life-long passion for surfing and opened Surf Diva, a cool surf school and clothing boutique in La Jolla.
Working in tourism gives us the opportunity to share the beauty of San Diego with visitors while they experience the thrill of surfing on one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. Some people have never even been in the ocean before, and words can't describe the pride we feel when we see a huge smile on someone's face after riding their first wave.
La Jolla means jewel in Spanish and clearly it lives up to the name. Even after traveling to some of the most exotic surf spots in the world, returning to San Diego is always amazing. Join us in celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week, May 4 -12, 2013.
We are Izzy and Coco Tihanyi, and Tourism Works for Us.
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