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, of which almost 18 million were overnight and over 17.7 million were day visitors. Visitors to San Diego spent $11.5 billion at thousands of San Diegan businesses during their stay. Seventy percent of those dollars were spent at businesses other than lodging.
The visitor industry employs 194,000 San Diegans 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 $17.9 billion in economic impact. 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 or call San Diego home.
In San Diego County, $306 million was collected in Transient Occupancy Tax revenue for fiscal year 2018 (July 2017 - June 2018). Additional sales taxes and property taxes from visitor industry businesses grow the total tax revenues generated by visitors to an estimated $813 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.
For San Diego, the travel industry employs nearly 13% 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. 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.
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