Thank you for your interest in finding out more about why travel matters to San Diego and the economic health of the region.
There were 35.8 million visitors to San Diego last year, of which almost 18 million were overnight and over 17.7 million were day visitors. Visitors spent $11.5 billion at thousands of San Diego businesses during their stay with 70% of those dollars spent at businesses other than lodging including restaurants, museums, parks and retailers.
The visitor industry employs 194,000 San Diegans, or nearly 13% of all jobs in the region, in fields directly related to the hospitality industry, including lodging, food service, attractions, and transportation. Tourism is San Diego's second largest traded economy contributing $19 billion in economic impact to the region.
In San Diego County, $306 million was collected in Transient Occupancy Tax revenue for fiscal year 2018 (July 2017 - June 2018). This tax is collected from guests who stay in hotels and other short-term rentals. Additional sales taxes and property taxes from visitor industry businesses grow the total tax revenues generated by visitors to an estimated $940 million annually. This revenue flows directly to the city's general fund to pay for road improvement, police, fire safety, lifeguards, parks, and other essential services. In essence, tourism not only drives the local economy, but supports the community’s 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 and call San Diego home.
San Diego's travel industry has a far larger economic footprint than many realize. Not only does the industry generate employment, direct spending and tax revenue - travelers’ spending is amplified 1.65 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.
Each year we join the U.S. Travel Association in celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week as they unite professionals in the United States to celebrate the value travel holds for the economy, businesses and travel related employment across the nation. We invite you to learn more about why travel matters to San Diego on this site and how you can become an advocate for the industry in your local community.
Below you fill find useful information to help tell the San Diego tourism story. Fact sheets, social media assets, suggested copy, and info-graphics that help share the impact tourism has on the San Diego region.
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