San Francisco tourism rebounds compared to last year

San Francisco's Travel Association says more visitors are coming back to the city but a full recovery could still be years away.

The travel association says nearly 16 million tourists will visit the city this year which is  five million more travelers than 2020. But that total is still 39% below 2019 levels. International tourism is still down 76% this year compared to 2019.

The travel association says it doesn't expect a full global tourism recovery until 2025.

SEE ALSO: San Francisco unveils plans to revitalize Union Square, lure tourists

The empty streets of San Francisco cost an estimated $10.6 billion in unspent tourist money during the pandemic, according to a report by the city's tourism industry. That is almost the equivalent of San Francisco's entire city budget.

Tourism is San Francisco's largest industry and creates the most jobs.