Ad campaign urges visitors to return to the Bay Area

Visitors can now stay in San Francisco hotels, but the question is, "If you open it, will they come?"

Because San Francisco hotels are now allowed to reopen, the Hotel Council hosted webinar on "The Future of Hospitality."  Research shows that travel will eventually recover but to a 'new normal' that emphasizes health safety and no-touch technologies in transportation, lodging and attractions.

"There's a lot of talk about getting back to normal. But, in California, normal has never really been our thin anyway. So, masks are mandatory. That's our kind of party," said one ad show on the webinar.

A multi-media advertising campaign, placed on travel oriented media venues, is already running locally, regionally, statewide and nationally.

One theme: Our Gate is Open. "We welcome to San Francisco to enjoy the majestic city. Our Gate is Open. Our Gate is Open," said the ad.

This and other themes, sometimes using famous celebrities will try to lure leisure, tourism, business and convention customers to Bay Area attractions.

"San Francisco has always been associated with the joy of life. Each time we get another person, we get a seed of innovation," said legendary film maker Francis Ford Coppola in one ad.

The ads will contain COVID-19 safety messaging that says, "Keeping our distance. Can do. And, if you're not washing your hands a lot already, you haven't been getting dirty enough."

The campaign will go foreign as various international airlines come back to the San Francisco market.

Daniel Guzman of Oakland said he came to the City on a nearly empty BART train only to see very few people here.

"I would expect more people, I would say this is worse than like 35% of capacity. I'm used to seeing a lot more people by the pier," said Guzman.

But as we learned on the Embarcadero today, lodging prices are such in the city, this vacationing Texas man is commuting in. "About 30 minutes, so that was $139. Here it's over three hundred. So, it's like, no I want to stay outside," said Richard Santos of El Paso.

That's bad for other businesses; all highly dependent on volume sales. "Right now if you walk around, I'd say it's half capacity or less, so there's no way," said peninsula resident Tri Nguyen.

Ads notwithstanding, the only true way to recover is when vaccines or therapeutic medicines are developed.