SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Tourism professionals in San Francisco are concerned about how politics could influence the international traveler.
Members of the industry gathered Thursday at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, site of San Francisco Travel’s Tourism and Economic Forum.
Being only months since the presidential election, San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro said its unclear if there would be a “Trump slump” for San Francisco tourism.
“We’re very concerned about it, obviously,” D’Alessandro told KCBS. “Because if the international perception is that California is a difficult place to get into, immigration is a challenge, there’s long lines at the airport, or that it’s not a good time to come to the United States, we could lose visitors.”
San Francisco Travel is countering some perception studies in key markets, indicating uncertainty about visiting the U.S.
The key markets indicating concern about visiting include Canada, Mexico, Western Europe and Australia. Visitors from China, which is San Francisco’s largest overseas tourism market, and India have not changed their perceptions about visiting.
The majority of 2017’s visitor volume and spending growth, projected at a 1.8 percent increase, is coming from the domestic traveler.
D’Alessandro asks Bay Area residents to say hello to our international visitors.
“Roll out the welcome mat. Make those international visitors feel welcome in San Francisco,” he said.