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Tourism

“San Diego has always been the proud home of Comic-Con and we are extremely pleased that we can carry on that tradition of being the destination for the world’s premier celebration of the popular arts.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
June 30, 2017

With more than 70 miles of coastline, state of the art hotel and convention spaces, and an array of entertainment options throughout the region, San Diego is positioned as one of the top visitor and convention destinations in the world. Dubbed by Fodor’s as a “vacationer’s paradise” and by the U.S. Weather Bureau as “the closest thing to perfect weather in America,” San Diego’s world-class waterfront and award-winning international airport make it accessible from destinations across the globe. 
 
Critical to the region, San Diego’s tourism economy is one of San Diego’s three core traded economies, along with the region’s innovation and military economies. Tourism employs more than 197,000 people in a variety of positions including lodging, food service, attractions, and transportation.1

Industry Highlights & Contributions

  • Welcome to SD: In 2017, there were 35 million visitors to San Diego, of which more than 17.6 million stayed overnight and more than 17.4 million were day visitors.2
  • Binational connectivity: The Cross Border Xpress is the first ever to connect a facility in the U.S. with a foreign airport terminal. In 2017, the Cross Border Xpress welcomed 1.9 million travellers.3
  • Arts & Culture: A top tourist destination, Balboa Park is home to more than 17 museums that span 1,200 acres in the heart of San Diego. Declared a national Historic Landmark in 1977, the park is nearly 50 percent larger than Central Park in New York City.2
  • Comic-Con: Since 1991, the San Diego Convention Center has been home to one of North America’s largest pop culture conventions, Comic-Con, which annually attracts more than 130,000 attendees and has an economic impact of $143 million.4

 


San Diego Convention Center

San Diego Convention Center hosts international and national conventions and trade shows in a world-class facility located on the San Diego Harbor.

San Diego International Airport

SAN has been named one of the safest airports in the country (Travel + Leisure magazine) and one of the best airports for business travel (Condé Nast Traveler). It is the busiest single-runway airport in the country with non-stop service to more than 50 destinations.

San Diego Tourism Authority

SDTA is a private nonprofit corporation composed of approximately 1,100 member organizations, businesses, local governments, and individuals seeking a better community through the visitor industry. 


Sources

1. San Diego Regional EDC, Traded Economies Analysis with BLS data, 2016 2. San Diego Tourism Authority, “San Diego General Facts,” 2017 3. Travel Weekly, “Cross-Border Bridge Boosts Tijuana Airport,” 2018 4. San Diego Convention Center Corporation, “FY17 Annual Report,” 2017