SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The city’s largest source of business revenue would have suffered if voters had agreed to raise the hotel tax, said the head of the San Francisco’s leading tourism industry group.

Budget conscious travelers have been hurt by the slow economy along with everyone else, making the defeat of Measures J and K welcome news for Joe D’Alessandro, president of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The traveling public is being very cost conscious, and we simply can’t afford to price San Francisco out of the competitive marketplace,” he said.

The two measures were an effort to increase an already lucrative source of revenue for city coffers. The hotel tax generated $180 million in 2009.

Voters said no to both Measure J and Measure K. The first would have raised the tax from 15.5 percent to 17.5 percent for the next three years. The second would have closed loopholes that allow guests who book online to avoid the hotel tax entirely.

“If our hotel rates become too high and too excessive, people will stay somewhere else,” D’Allessandro said.

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