Tourism Authority marks 60th year with new determination, initiatives
by Contribution
Apr 04, 2014 | 2819 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SDTA chief Joe Terzi notes that hotel occupancyin San Diego increased last year but not at the rate in otehr California cities. The better the local tourism economy, he says, the greater the quality of life.  COURTESY PHOTO
SDTA chief Joe Terzi notes that hotel occupancyin San Diego increased last year but not at the rate in otehr California cities. The better the local tourism economy, he says, the greater the quality of life. COURTESY PHOTO
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On the heels of its largest seasonal marketing campaign in history, the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) says it anticipates significant gains in the city’s tourism economy in 2014. To that end, it announced the implementation of several new programs at its annual meeting, held Thursday, March 27.

SDTA official asserted that the group’s spring marketing campaign is the foundation for its visitor-attraction efforts this year. The $12 million blitz is a comprehensive, multi-platform effort that includes national television and digital advertising and print advertising in markets across the western United States and online advertising on popular travel websites.

“Here in San Diego, tourism is vitally important to our economic prosperity," said SDTA president and CEO Joe Terzi. "And every San Diegan is invested in our success because the better our tourism economy performs, the more sales and hotel tax revenue we'll have invested into improving quality of life here.

"As we found out last year, when we don't market San Diego, we fall behind," said Terzi. "Unfortunately, our competitors were able to capture a greater share of the travel market in 2013." Hotel room occupancy increased last year in San Diego by 1.5 percent, other cities showed stronger growth, including Anaheim (2.5 pecent) and San Francisco (3.3 percent).

The meeting included an address by Kish Rajan, director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.

"California is one of the top tourism destinations in the world, with visitors contributing more than $100 billion to the economy each year, and San Diego is one of the state's most treasured cities," Rajan said. "That is why [we are actively working with our partners in San Diego and all around the state to foster growth in the tourism industry and ensure international travelers continue to choose California as their preferred destination."

To help San Diego get back on track and expand its market share, Terzi today unveiled several initiatives. Among them are the marketing of San Diego as a visitor destination in China; a digital social media campaign featuring local figures touting San Diego as a place to visit; a National Geographic Television documentary on the city’s reputation as a global center; promoting the city through its major-league sports; and a restructuring of its marketing team.

The growth of the local tourism economy, Terzi said, “means more jobs for San Diegans, more customers at our shops, restaurants and attractions and more tax revenue for our city to hire more police officers and fire fighters, resurface more streets and keep our libraries and recreation centers open longer."

Tourism is San Diego's second largest traded economy, employing more than 165,000 and pumping $18.7 billion a year into our regional economy.

The hotel tax revenue alone amounts to more than $157 million a year, all of which goes directly to the City of San Diego to enhance municipal services citywide.

SDTA is funded primarily through the San Diego Tourism Marketing District.

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