Photo Courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority
Hotel demand is expected to firmly recover by spring 2022, according to the San Diego Tourism Authority.

Photo Courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority Hotel demand is expected to firmly recover by spring 2022, according to the San Diego Tourism Authority.

The travel sector is in the midst of a strong recovery following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the San Diego Tourism Authority’s recently-released San Diego Hotel Forecast Update report. The San Diego Tourism Authority is a non-profit corporation with a mission to drive visitor demand to economically benefit San Diego.

While activity is still below pre-crisis levels, the gap has closed considerably, the data states, crediting progress to vaccination programs (San Diego County vaccination rate is now 80%) and recent gains in economic and travel activity in helping reduce the uncertainty surrounding future predictions. Leisure travel, which continues ahead of 2019 levels according to the analysis, is also helping offset low levels in business transient and group demand, it adds.


With that said, hotel demand is expected to recover firmly by spring 2022, as per the Tourism Authority (SDTA). International, business travel and leisure travel are expected to progressively increase and/or normalize next year, while demand for group travel will gradually resume, aiding in the slow recovery of group meetings and larger events.


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Julie Coker President/CEO San Diego Tourism Authority

Meetings and Conventions

“The latest forecast for the San Diego hotel industry is a testament to how far we’ve come and how much further we still have to go,” said Julie Coker, president and CEO of SDTA. “As has been the case throughout the pandemic, leisure continues to be the bright spot for our region and for our hotels. But make no mistake, we will not see a full recovery until our meetings and conventions make a complete comeback. The good news is that the forecast sees the meeting segments strengthening throughout 2022 and that will help hotel demand continue to firmly recover in the spring of 2022 as will the return of international travel that is also expected to ramp up over the next year.”


This is indeed good news for the City of San Diego.


Tourism is the third-largest economic driver in S.D., generating $17.9 billion in regional economic impact and contributing to more than $895 million in transient occupancy taxes, sales taxes and property taxes. It also supports 194,000 tourism-related jobs in the County, according to the San Diego Tourism Authority.


Boosting Tourism


A lot, if not most of the recovery wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of the San Diego Tourism Authority and other organizations that focus on boosting tourism in the region.


In August, the San Diego Tourism Marketing District allocated $28 million funding for destination marketing programs in Fiscal Year 2022, which started July 1. The San Diego Tourism Authority is SDTMD’s primary beneficiary and received approximately $26.6 million, or roughly 90% of total funding.


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Richard Bartell Board Chairman San Diego Tourism Marketing District

“While many of our competitive destinations are struggling due to lack of funding, San Diego is ranked in the top three most popular U.S. destinations and first in the West among travelers,” said Richard Bartell, board chairman for SDTMD. “(We are) in (a) prime position for driving visitation through strategic marketing programs as the recovery continues.”


Rigorous Economics


The San Diego Hotel Forecast report is prepared by Tourism Economics, Inc., for the San Diego Tourism Authority. Tourism Economics is an Oxford Economics company with the objective of combining an understanding of tourism dynamics with rigorous economics to design market strategies, destination recovery plans, tourism forecasting models, tourism policy analysis and economic impact studies. Founded in 1981, Oxford Economics is a joint venture with Oxford University’s business college and provides economic analysis, forecasts and consulting advice.


San Diego Tourism Authority
FOUNDED: 1985
PRESIDENT/CEO: Julie Coker
HEADQUARTERS: Downtown
BUSINESS: Non-profit corporation with a mission to drive visitor demand to economically benefit San Diego.
EMPLOYEES: 505
WEBSITE: 
www.SanDiego.org
NOTABLE: San Diego is one of the top 10 meeting and visitor destinations in the nation.
CONTACT: 619-557-2838


Balboa Park is one of San Diego's top attractions. Tourism is the third-largest economic driver in San Diego, generating $17.9 billion in regional economic impact.