The Bay Area is gearing up for a major surge in tourism starting Monday. That’s when the national ban on international travel from many major countries is lifted and anyone who is fully vaccinated can visit the United States.
In a partnership with SF Travel, San Francisco International Airport launched an aggressive international marketing campaign telling the world “our gate it is open” and we’re already seeing evidence of it here and at some of the city’s top tourist destinations.”
“We want to welcome them with a big hello. We want them to feel as comfortable as possible,” City of San Francisco ambassador Latasha Bessard.
San Francisco’s new welcome ambassadors are ready to welcome visitors returning to the city, as the U.S. lifts pandemic travel restrictions that have barred most international visitors since early last year.
“We guide them to good restaurants, recommend food places for them – family attractions and everything,” Bessard said.
In 2019, International travelers were huge contributors to the city’s $10 billion dollar tourism industry.
“Tourism is the number one industry, and it employs so many people in the city, so we’re thrilled to see international travelers starting to come back starting tomorrow,” said SF Travel VP Media Relations Lori Lincoln.
86,000 jobs in San Francisco are supported by tourism and foreign visitors bring in big business.
“They are the biggest spenders in our city. They stay the longest and spend the most money – and we’re really looking forward to seeing, especially more passengers travelers coming from Europe,” Lincoln said.
As far as SFO goes, it’s seen an increase in service lately and plans to increase from 28 international carriers to 33 soon…..back to about 75-percent of pre-pandemic levels.
Airlines are reporting surges in international bookings to San Francisco.
People are being warned that airports this week will be a lot busier than normal and to expect lines as these new travel rules roll out.