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San Francisco Travel Reports Record-Breaking Tourism in 2016

Total Visitor Volume Hits 25.1 Million, Up 2.3 Percent
Visitor Spending Exceeds $9.69 Billion, Up 3.3 Percent


Jan. 18, 2017 – The San Francisco Travel Association reports that tourism in the city and county had another record-breaking year in 2016.  San Francisco welcomed a total of 25.1 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 2.3 percent from 2015.   In 2016, the 25.1 million visitors brought $9.69 billion in spending to San Francisco, up by 3.3 percent from 2015. 

“This is the seventh consecutive year of record-breaking growth for San Francisco’s tourism industry.  The 25.1 million visitors and $9.96 billion in spending create jobs and support services for people throughout the city and the entire Bay Area,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel.  “We continue to see steady growth, especially in the area of visitor spending.” 

Of the 25.1 million people who visited the city last year, 10.4 million were overnight visitors and 14.7 million visited for the day, with both figures increasing by 2.3 percent.   Overnight visitors spent $7.77 billion (86.8 percent of all visitor spending), up 3.4 percent over the previous year.  Day visitors spent $1.18 billion (13.2 percent of visitor spending), up 3.5 percent from 2015.  Total direct spending by visitors was $8.9 billion.  Convention/meeting direct spending is estimated at $754 million.

Overnight visitors from the United States totaled 7.5 million (72 percent of all overnight visitors) and spent $2.9 billion (38 percent of all overnight guest spending).  Domestic overnight visitor volume increased 2.5 percent and their spending increased 4.8 percent over 2016.

International overnight visitors totaled 2.94 million (18 percent of overnight visitors) and spent $4.78 billion (61.5 percent of all overnight spending).   International visitor volume increased 1.7 percent and their spending increased 2.6 percent over 2016. The largest overseas markets were China (478,000 visitors), the United Kingdom (353,000 visitors) and Germany (273,000 visitors).  The fastest growing overseas markets were China, South Korea and India with 47,170, 15,220 and 12,070 more visitors respectively.

More detailed data and forecasts for 2017 and 2018 will be released at the 2017 Marketing Conference on March 2 at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco.

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 1,300 partner businesses, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. 

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 offers 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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