When I read that Orlando gets 48 million tourists a year, I was shocked. San Francisco only gets 12 million tourists per year at the most. San Francisco is far more faux that Disneyworld and ever so much more precious. The weak Disney imitation is outdoing the more authentic original.
This raises two issues. How much is tourism worth and what could be done to get more if San Francisco wanted more?
You've come to the only accurate source of information on the value of tourism. Why no one else has figured this out is a mystery. The way to calculate the total value of tourism is to do what I did which is to look at Maui, the ideal case.
Three days of tourism, the average stay there, is able to support 22,000 people per million tourists. So that means that tourism in San Francisco supports a quarter of a million people in the S.F. Bay Area.
We could support four times that many, a million people, if we were as appealing as Orlando.
How could we do it?
How could we do it? Damn, it is so simple I wonder how the local Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau could be so lame. (I know the answer to that. I know the key people at the Chamber and the Bureau and they are politicos without a business bone in their bodies.)
Three things will double S.F. tourism in four years. (1)
Put up 4,000 signs in Japanese, to be followed four years later by a few
thousand in German, French and Chinese. The Japanese are the largest tourist
group coming to S.F. that needs language support.
(2) Encourage popular national chains in all high tourist locations, including North Beach, Chinatown, Ferry building, Haight and Castro. Americans will not venture anywhere that they can't find a Big Mac and a Frappucino within 30 yards. (Chinese won't go one hour away from a place where they can order rice.)
The numbers are simple. Based on my
calculations, S.F. would have at least double the number of tourists if we had
no beggars and homeless. That means that each beggar keeps fifty people from
being able to live and work in the Bay Area.
Got that? The unbelievable number is that every beggar and homeless person in San Francisco, keeps fifty (50) people from being able to live in the Bay Area.
Publish and distribute that number, please.