Case Study: San Diego Tourism Authority

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San Diego Tourism Authority

Tourism is the third-largest economic driver in San Diego -- generating $17 billion in regional economic impact in FY 2017, contributing to more than $743 million in transient occupancy taxes, sales taxes and property taxes to government entities, and supporting 191,000 tourism-related jobs in the County.

At the center of this dynamic environment is the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA), the sales and marketing engine focused on promoting and marketing San Diego as a preferred vacation and meeting destination for leisure and business travelers from around the world. In its mission, the SDTA in FY 2017 was the recipient of about 95 percent of SDTMD’s funding to drive tourism promotion, which is key to SDTA’s efforts to win market share and showcase San Diego as a world-class tourism location. These endeavors were successful in attracting over 34 million visitors to the City in FY 2017 and generating $10.4 billion in total visitor spending.

Formerly known as the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau (ConVis), SDTA is nimble in the marketplace, and as market conditions shift, it updates its programs accordingly to best capitalize on market opportunities, and to maximize ROI, which in FY 2017 was 27.8:1, resulting in hotel room night revenue in the City of San Diego of over $8 million; more than 4.7 million room nights; and a significant increase in the amount of transient occupancy taxes (TOT) collected — from $203 million in FY 2016 to $220 million last year.

Other SDTA successes for FY 2017 include:

  • The strong demand for hotel rooms in the City of San Diego reached 79.6%
  • The average daily room rate for SDTMD properties increased by 3.8% to $165.60 per night
  • Successful booking of 369,152 new group room nights, plus 60 citywide conventions representing over 1 million room nights
  • Generated more than 1.9 billion paid advertising gross impressions nationally and internationally through campaigns that utilized TV, digital, out-of-home, and print mediums
  • Generated 11 million visitor inquiries as a result of all marketing efforts
  • Generated $38.5 million in public relations unpaid media value
  • Ended the year with 2,832 enrolled San Diego specialists