San Francisco OKs $27M tourism district


San Francisco’s Tourism Improvement District is official, having received unanimous approval from the city Board of Supervisors.

The TID was devised to help fund much-needed capital improvements for Moscone Center and to provide ongoing, stable funding for the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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All San Francisco hotels will be assessed between 1 percent and 1.5 percent on room revenue. The amount hotels are assessed depends on their distance from the city center. Only 5 percent of San Francisco hoteliers did not support creating the district.

According to Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the TID assessment could generate as much as $18 million to market San Francisco and $9 million for capital improvements to Moscone in its first year.

Being able to market San Francisco and attract overnight guests to the city is critical to the city’s financial health. Tourism is San Francisco’s largest industry, with an annual economic impact over $8 billion.

For years, the Convention and Visitors Bureau marketing budget was far less than it is now. It was only recently was raised to $8.2 million.

Assessments will begin Jan. 1, 2009, with the first funds becoming available in May 2009.