San Diego hosted a record 34.9 million visitors who spent $10.4 billion in the region during calendar year 2016, according to the latest annual data from the San Diego Tourism Authority.
Officials of the nonprofit agency said local governments collected a record $267 million in hotel tax revenue in fiscal year 2016, which ran from July 2015 to June 2016. San Diego County’s tourism industry now employs 183,000.
The region has 60,611 hotel rooms and saw 17.1 million room nights sold during the past year. A statement from the tourism authority said visitor traffic during the 2016 calendar year was fueled by events including Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, bicycling’s AMGEN Tour of California, and the annual pop-culture fest Comic-Con International.
The tourism authority during January 2017 launched a $12.4 million advertising campaign, including television, print and digital advertising placements. The strategy includes updates of the region’s previously successful “Happiness is Calling” ad campaign, marketing the San Diego region in San Francisco, Sacramento, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago and New York City.
The campaign also includes placements in magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler and Bon Appetit, and travel websites including TripAdvisor, Expedia and Priceline.
During the first quarter, the tourism authority will also be running digital advertising in Canada and the United Kingdom, along with advertising supporting new upcoming international flights to San Diego recently announced by Condor Airlines and Edelweiss Air.
The international efforts will be in partnership with Brand USA, a nationwide tourism promotion organization geared to international travel to the United States.