Locals and Travelers Influence San Diego’s Tourism Industry

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Beaches are crowded and hotels are accepting more travelers.

“Tourism is definitely on the path to recovery. We are seeing some really good results going into the summer months,” said Kerry Kapich, COO of the San Diego Tourism Authority.

The San Diego Tourism Authority explained that tourism has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, but is seeing increases in air travel and hotel bookings in the 70 percentile range.

Higher productivity is positively impacting businesses like Eco Boat Rentals in Point Loma.

“I would say that May was the busiest for us in the last three years,” said Katya Fedorova.

Katya Fedorova opened her business in 2020.

The trend she explained she’s noticing is more “remaining”.

“About 50 percent are just locals from San Diego. Thirty percent are people from out of state. We do have a lot of visitors from Utah, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and Washington State. About 20 percent are people who come from Orange County, Los Angeles, Temecula,” she said.

A recent Bankrate survey shows that 69% of adults who plan a vacation may make some changes to their plans due to inflation.

25% say they will make fewer trips and another 25% say they will travel shorter distances.

She said it was important that prices be affordable for her clients.

“I know what people want to do, they want to go outside and it’s important to spend some time with your family and you can also exercise,” she said.

In general, the Tourism Authority explained that the situation is improving.

“During Memorial Day weekend, we were the number one hospitality market in the Western United States. [and] is in the top five in the country and has been that way throughout the pandemic,” Kapic said.

“So we’re very lucky that people see San Diego for what it is – a beautiful place.”

Industry growth means more jobs for San Diegan.

“Before the pandemic, the number of jobs decreased by about two percent,” Kapic said.

The industry continues to lack international and business travel.

The Tourism Authority does not expect levels to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 or 2024.


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