San Francisco looks to boost tourism with new $6 million campaign

Tourism in San Francisco is still down 16 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

In an effort to boost numbers ahead of the busy summer travel season, the city is paying $6 million for an international ad campaign highlighting the cites iconic landmarks. 

The ad will run in major cities across the U.S. like New York, Houston and Boston, and it will also have a strong international focus in Australia, India and Asia. 

San Francisco Travel predicted that 23.9 million people will visit the city this year and spend about $8.9 billion, an increase of $1 billion compared to 2022.

San Francisco has struggled recently as many big-name stores, like Nordstrom, Old Navy and Whole Foods have closed or will close in the city's main tourist shopping area. 

Debbie Martin, a tourist from Virginia, told KTVU she was warned about visiting San Francisco from people all over California. 

"We heard it in Santa Barbra we heard it in Los Angeles we heard it in another place," martin said. "They were like San Francisco don't go there why would you go there."

Other tourists who spoke with KTVU said they took the city's crime rate into consideration, but couldn't miss the opportunity to visit the city's iconic landmarks. 

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As of late, a majority of San Francisco's tourists are international travelers or people visiting for corporate conferences.