Travel ban impacts tourism in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — There is growing concern about how the policies of the Trump administration will affect the Bay Area’s number one industry… tourism.

Representatives from the hospitality sector met in San Francisco to talk about how to make sure potential foreign visitors keep coming and spending money.

“I don’t care, I don’t care. I love San Francisco anyway, said Alice Chan, visiting from China.

That is the answer the San Francisco Travel Association wants to hear because there is concern that San Francisco’s scenic vistas won’t be enough to lure foreign tourists here this summer.

They believe the President’s recent executive order on immigration has tarnished the country’s reputation abroad and that could affect even the left leaning west coast.

That is why the projection for overall tourism in the city is flat for 2017.

That’s up barely two percent from last year.

The growth projected for international travelers is even more minuscule , up only point three percent.

“Some of the polls in some of the top markets whether it’s Australia, Germany, England, the Netherlands, those are countries really concerned about the politics in the United States today. The are not impacted by the seven countries and the ban they are impacted by what they feel as unfair policy,” said Joe D’Alessandro of SF Travel.

They are worried that someone making their summer plans may be worried about hassles getting past customs and go elsewhere.

That’s why SF Travel is teaming up with the State Travel Agency to get the word out and to remind international travelers that we are different.

“California is open. California is welcoming. We always have been and we always will be,” D’Alessandro said.

Two women visiting from Germany and Switzerland said they planned their trip before the election and had no thought to scrap their plans.

“California was Clinton, i guess. So no we wouldn’t have changed it,” tourist Sofia Zisiadia said.

How much foreign tourists spend in places like Chinatown has a huge impact on the economy.

International visitors make up only 23 percent of our tourists but make up 62 percent of tourism spending.


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