To further capture the growth potential of the Indian outbound market, the San Francisco Travel Association (SFTA) organized its trade mission to India between 2 and 6 December 2019. A senior delegation from SFTA visited Mumbai and New Delhi led by Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of SFTA.
“India is an important growth market for San Francisco Travel. In 2019 San Francisco welcomed over 216,500 Indian travelers, a growth of 7.7 % over the previous year. Now with enhanced air connectivity and nonstop flights being added by United Airlines, in addition to the nonstop service Air India, we hope to welcome even more Indian travelers to our unique city. San Francisco is a top of mind destination for Indian’s due to the strong Silicon Valley connect. It is also the No.1 gateway city to the West Coast and a perfect starting point for discovering California and beyond” Joe D’Alessandro said.
The SFTA, in partnership with San Francisco International Airport (SFO), was the first U.S. convention & visitors bureau and airport to have representation services in India through Sartha Global Marketing LLP in 2008.
In 2019, 216,500 Indian travelers visited San Francisco spending US Dollars 511.75 million. India ranks among San Francisco’s top 7 international markets, in terms of arrivals and top 3 in terms of spending per visitor. SFTA has been highly active in the Indian market via an ongoing travel trade and consumer engagement program creating top-of-the-mind recall for the city. Additionally, SFTA has been a regular participant at Brand USA and Visit California led programs in India. San Francisco has also been promoted as a Meetings and Incentive destination through promotions via major MICE shows and dedicated workshops for M&I planners.
Sheema Vohra, Managing Director of Sartha Global Marketing, SFTA’s India Representative commented, “Our goal is to stimulate the interest in San Francisco as the top destination for leisure, business, and MICE segments. It already has a strong market share of inbound USA business and we expect that with increased air service, this will rise exponentially in coming years”
United Airlines has introduced a daily nonstop seasonal service between Indira Gandhi International Airport and its hub at San Francisco International Airport starting December 7, 2019; connecting the Indian capital to the U.S. west coast. SFO is the only airport in California that has nonstop flights from India. SFO is UAL’S biggest hub in California, which provides excellent onward connections into the rest of USA.
San Francisco is the new home to the Golden State Warriors and recently opened doors to the Chase Center, an 18,064-seat sports and entertainment arena on September 3, 2019. The Chase Center will be the home venue for the six-time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, plus concerts, cultural events, family shows and more, totaling nearly 200 events per year.
In 2020-21, San Francisco will be celebrating an array of noteworthy events that includes 150th Anniversary of Golden Gate Park, 30th Anniversary of the Arrival of Sea Lions at Pier 39, SAILGP in May 2020, 2020 PGA Championship, 50th Anniversary of San Francisco Pride in June 2020 and major Art Exhibitions like Levi Strauss@CJM, Diego Rivera @ SFMOMA.
The new hotels that opened their doors in 2019 include the Grand Hyatt SFO with 351 rooms, the Palihotel with 82 rooms, Virgin Hotel with 192 rooms, Yotel with 203 cabins and Hyatt Place with 230 rooms. The upcoming Hotels are The Clancy (Marriott) with 410 rooms, AC Hotel by Marriott with 77 rooms and Marriott SOMA Mission Bay with 250 rooms adding to the existing room inventory which has already surpassed over 31,000 rooms.
Tourism, San Francisco’s largest industry, generated record-breaking numbers in 2018. More than 25.8 million people visited the destination, spending in excess of $10 billion. More than 82,500 jobs are supported by tourism in San Francisco.