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Monday, April 27, 2009

As SF Tourism Falters, Visitors Bureau Promotes City Attractions To Locals

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 11:15 AM

From San Francisco Conventions & Visitors Bureau
One barometer of tourism in San Francisco is its hotel occupancy rate, which is tracked each month by PFK Consulting and provided to the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB). The most recent figures, as you'll see to the left, indicate that the SF's tourism has entered the danger zone.

January's occupancy rate was down to 61.3 percent (it was 64.5 percent in January of 2008) but that wasn't yet a cause for alarm.

In February, though, things got hairy. The occupancy rate plunged to 59.6 percent. when it definitely should have gone up (last year, February's hotel occupancy rate was 73.9 percent). Those figures apparently have the SFCVB scrambling for a boost, and it seems they've concluded that the people who can afford to live here are also the people who can afford to "escape" here.

Today, the SFCVB launched "Escape to San Francisco" a new promotion that will involve taking video footage of locals discussing their favorite San Francisco attractions. The video will be posted on the SFCVB Web site, www.onlyinsanfrancisco/escape/, and, ideally, it will encourage other San Franciscans to take advantage of where they live. "We realized that people are staying closer to home," said Angela Jackson, the SFCVB director of public relations. "We want to remind locals that there's so much to see and do in their own backyard." 

The first of a series of six consecutive Tuesday taping sessions happens tomorrow at South Park in SoMa, starting at 11 a.m., and the first 30 locals to arrive will receive one of the following: a buy-one-get-one-free Wine Lover's Tour with Extranomical Adventures, a complimentary pass for the Blue & Gold Fleet's new Rocketboat, complimentary admission to the California Academy of Sciences, or gift certificates for a Hornblower Cruise, Ilori sunglasses, or a Bay Quackers Duck Tour.

Those 30 names will also be put into a grand prize drawing for a two-night stay at the Hyatt Regency on the Embarcadero, a champagne cruise on Hornblower, two tickets to Wicked, a $100 dining certificate to Ana Mandara, and two San Francisco CityPasses (an extensive attraction package in the city), and a pound of See's Chocolates.

Desperate times call for big marketing promotions, people. Don't miss your chance to get some free stuff while reminding everyone that we live in in a giant adult playground.

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Ashley Harrell


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