Fisherman's Wharf businesses working to attract more locals

Fisherman's Wharf is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Francisco. But it's not as popular with local’s residents.

Now businesses at the Wharf are trying to change that.

KTVU asked some San Francisco residents why they don't come to the Wharf.

"It's kind of a touristy place in my opinion," said one man.

"There's a lot of people there. It's not my vibe," said a woman.

A recent Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefits District Retail Strategy Report found that just 14 percent of the 16 million annual visitors are locals. The rest come from all over the world.

But Fisherman’s Wharf is working to win over locals and change the perception that the area is little more than souvenir shops. It is hoping San Francisco and Bay Area residents start coming.

“After labor day, it becomes slow. That's when we would want locals to come down and support the businesses," said Trevar Booker of Alioto's Restaurant.

And so changes have begun.

New businesses have come in, such as a brewery in Ghirardelli square and a cheese store. Plans are also afoot to improve lighting and establish more of a nightlife.

“We are trying to encourage people to come in the evening – happy hour, maybe come on a Sunday fun day with girlfriends. There are also times when there are just a few people out," said Rachel Brown of the Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefits District.

The strategy report also encourages a social media campaign to lure locals with discounts and special events.

“Do I want all the wharf to have t-shirt shops? No. Does anyone want that? Of course not. But we want to create an environment that adds to what we already have with our natural beauty and invite everyone to come down," said Sina Von Reitzenstein of the Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefits District.

The benefits district says making all the necessary changes will be an ongoing process.