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Media Alert: San Francisco Travel Presents Third Annual International Forum

On Dec. 15, 2015, San Francisco Travel will present its Third Annual International Forum, focusing on San Francisco's significant international tourism market.


WHAT:  On Dec. 15, 2015, San Francisco Travel will present its Third Annual International Forum, focusing on San Francisco's significant international tourism market.

With international travel making up a larger part of tourism's overall economic impact year after year, the organization is fine-tuning its strategy to capture as large a share of the international travel market as possible. The Forum includes discussion and insights about the current state of the industry, where it’s headed and what businesses can do to have a positive impact on this important visitor segment. 

The keynote speaker will be Adam Sacks, president and founder of Tourism Economics. He is an authority on measuring the economic impact of visitor activity and has analyzed the impacts of tourism investment policies, entry procedures, tourism taxation, and destination marketing strategies.  

Jena Baker McNeill, senior director of Government Relations for the U. S. Travel Association, will provide an update on the current discussion of changes to the government’s Visa Waiver Program, which may have an impact on visitation to the United States.

Andy Buchanan, United’s Managing Director of International Planning, will discuss United's San Francisco network and opportunities presented by the airline's long-term fleet strategy.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 15, 2015,  8:00-11:45 a.m.

WHERE:  The Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason St., Nob Hill


Media Contact:  Journalists interested in covering this event can contact Laurie Armstrong at, 415-227-2615 (office) or 415-290-6830 (mobile).

SPEAKERS (in order of appearance, subject to change):  
Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO, San Francisco Travel
Kandace Bender, Deputy Airport Director, San Francisco International Airport
Adam Sacks, Founder and President, Tourism Economics
Tom Kiely, Executive Vice President, Tourism, San Francisco Travel
Howard Pickett, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, San Francisco Travel
Jena Baker McNeill, Senior Director, Government Relations, U. S. Travel Association
Andy Buchanan, Managing Director of International Planning, United Airlines
Gwyneth Borden, Executive Director, Golden Gate Restaurant Association
May German, Senior Manager, Tourism and Marketing Development, Macy’s
Kathy Paver, Senior Vice President, Marketing, PIER 39
Ashlee Ciora, Vice President, Travel Industry Sales, Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau

WHY: International travel provides one of the largest opportunities to grow San Francisco’s tourism industry. In recent years, San Francisco has hosted more than four million international visitors per year.  These visitors stay longer and spend more when compared to domestic visitors –accounting for a great deal of economic activity in the city.

“The International Forum addresses opportunities and implications that affect the visitor industry in an ever-changing global environment.  The Forum’s content and speakers will provide some valuable insights for our partners to help them ‘connect the dots’ and run their businesses more effectively,” said San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro. 

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. 

Tourism, San Francisco's largest industry, generated record-breaking numbers in 2014.  More than 18 million people visited the destination, spending in excess of $10.67 billion. More than 87,000 jobs are supported by tourism in San Francisco. 

The San Francisco Travel business offices are located at One Front St., Suite 2900, San Francisco, CA 94111.  

San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.  For more information, visit

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 39 international cities on 33 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 77 cities in the U.S. on 14 domestic airlines. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow SFO on and

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

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