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About the San Francisco Travel Association

San Francisco Travel Manifesto

Why do people visit San Francisco? The sights and scenery. The one-of-a-kind events and world-class food. The welcoming people, the diversity and rich history. 

But perhaps, more importantly, it has to do with the fact that no other city is as adept at combining disparate elements to create something new: taking the familiar and marrying it to the unknown; merging people’s expectations to moments of unpredictability; uniting long-held notions with startling innovations.

Clearly, the attraction of San Francisco is not any one thing, but the combination of many different things. As an organization, we see the city in its entirety — through the eyes of the people who live here, the people who love it and the people who love to come here.

And as proud as we are to help people arrange their visits to San Francisco, we see our mission in even broader scope: We believe our true value lies not just in our ability to sell our city, but in our role as curators of the most interesting 49 square miles on the planet.

We are the San Francisco Travel Association. And we are the window into the City by the Bay.

Vision

To be the most compelling destination in the world.

Mission

To promote the San Francisco region as a top global destination by leading the way in performance and innovation.

Values

San Francisco Travel's organizational values are:

  • Embrace Change
  • Spirit of Service
  • Be Accountable
  • Empower and Champion Talent
  • Drive Excellence

Organization History

For more than 100 years the San Francisco Travel Association has worked on behalf of its partners to promote San Francisco as the destination of choice for conventions and leisure travel. The Association is an outgrowth of the San Francisco Convention and Tourist League, a non-profit, local business association founded in 1909 to reclaim the City's position as a world-class destination in the wake of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. San Francisco Travel continues that mission today, aggressively marketing and selling San Francisco to attract visitors. San Francisco Travel is a private, not-for-profit, 501(c)6 membership organization, headed by a Board of Directors made up of 39 business leaders from various companies, elected by the membership. Additionally, in 2003, the Association established a 501(c)3 foundation to raise scholarship funds for students enrolled in local hospitality management programs and to produce educational programs. In 2018, San Francisco hosted more than 25.8 million visitors who spent $9.6 billion during their stay. That makes tourism one of our most important industries.

Here's why:

  • Visitor dollars spent here generated $771 million in taxes and fees that support The City's general budget, health and safety, arts and cultural organizations, recreational facilities and low-income
housing.
  • Visitor dollars supported more than 82,500 jobs in the hospitality and tourism industries. That's about $2.5 billion in local payroll (excluding tips).

Largest Destination Marketing Organization Worldwide

More than 1,300 Bay Area businesses are San Francisco Travel partners, making our partnership base one of the largest of any convention and visitors bureau worldwide. Partners also make San Francisco Travel one of the largest and strongest business associations in San Francisco. Partner companies collaborate with the organization to sell San Francisco as a destination for individual travelers, groups, domestic and international association and corporate meetings — efforts that help make San Francisco a vibrant place to do business.

San Francisco Travel Partnership

Nearly every San Francisco business, large and small, benefits from the spending of tourists and convention-goers. Hotels, restaurants, retail shops, tour and transportation companies, attractions and other companies that have a large stake in the visitor market leverage the strength of their partnership to reach these customers. Partners are provided exclusive programs and services for maximizing their marketing, networking, relationship and educational development enabling them to capture a larger share of the visitor market. Learn more about partner benefits here.

San Francisco Travel Funding

Our work to attract conventions and visitors is made possible through both public and private sector support. 23% of our $34.8 million 2017-18 comes from the private sector in the form of membership dues, advertising, e-commerce and program revenues. 68% comes from a small portion of the revenue generated by the assessment on San Francisco hotel rooms (see www.sftid.com for additional information.) The balance comes through contracts with Grants for the Arts and San Francisco International Airport. For more information about our budgets, read our 2019-2020 Strategic Business Plan.

San Francisco Travel's Efforts Impact Entire Bay Area

The impact of visitors to San Francisco reaches far beyond the city itself. While the majority of San Francisco Travel's partner-businesses operate within the boundaries of the city, a third are located outside of San Francisco. These businesses recognize that attracting visitors to the city also generates tourism expenditures in their communities. Here are some visitor statistics that demonstrate the broad impact of the city's visitor industry:

  • A San Francisco Travel commissioned resident poll that found that 98% of San Francisco residents agree tourism is vital to San Francisco’s economy, and 78% believe tourism makes San Francisco a better place to live. The poll also found that 80% believe there is a healthy balance between tourist and resident activities.
  • 59% of total visitors are day visitors, meaning that a majority of our guests are coming from the surrounding Bay Area.
  • Thousands of visitors to the city take day trips beyond city limits or extend their visit throughout Northern California by taking side trips to other area locales and attractions such as Sausalito, wine country, Monterey, and the East Bay.

Executive Team

Joe D'Alessandro
President & CEO
[email protected]

Tom David
Executive Vice President & Chief Sales Officer
[email protected]

Paul Frentsos
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
[email protected]

Howard Pickett
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
[email protected]

Tina Wu
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
[email protected]

Hubertus Funke
Executive Vice President, Global Tourism Development
[email protected]vel.com

Cassandra Costello
Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Executive Office Programs
[email protected]

Jessica Lum
Director, Public Policy & Executive Office Programs
[email protected]

Lynn Farzaroli
Senior Director, SF Tourism Improvement District MC
[email protected]

Jessica Richardson
Executive Associate, Executive Office
[email protected]

View a complete listing of San Francisco Travel staff.

2019-2021 San Francisco Travel Board of Directors

Executive Committee

John Kimball
Chair
General Manager, Westin St. Francis and Area General Manager, Marriott International

Ike Kwon
Chair-Elect
Chief Operating Officer & Head of Government Affairs, California Academy of Sciences

James Lim
Vice-Chair
General Manager, Omni Hotel

Peter Gamez
Immediate Past Chair
Principal, Hunter Hospitality

Randall Reynoso
Secretary-Treasurer
EVP - Business Banking President, Wells Fargo

Lisa Kershner
Marketing Council Chair
General Manager, San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront

Paul Tormey
Meetings & Conventions Council Chair
Regional Vice President & General Manager, Fairmont San Francisco

Terry Lewis
Public Policy Council Chair
General Manager, Hilton Hotels of San Francisco

Kathy Paver
Tourism Council Chair
Senior Vice President of Marketing, PIER 39

Ex-Officio

Kevin Carroll
President & CEO, Hotel Council of San Francisco

Rodney Fong
CEO & President, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

John Noguchi
Director, Convention Facilities Department, City & County of San Francisco

Bob Sauter
General Manager, SMG-Moscone Center

Board Members

Amy Arbuckle
General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Downtown

Michael Baier
General Manager, Park Central Hotel

Jim Beaumonte
President, Local 16

Brittney Beck
General Manager, Beck's Motor Lodge

Eric Bresler
Executive Director, Chase Center

Gary Buffo
President and CEO, Pure Luxury Transportation

Sandra Fletcher
President, Simco Restaurants

Lee Gregory
Vice President, McCalls

Karlene Holloman
CEO, Point Hospitality Group

Roger Huldi
General Manager, W San Francisco

Gail Hunter
Director, Corporate Events, Apple

Maria Jenson
Executive Director, SOMArts Cultural Center

Heather Keenan
Founder and President, KEY Events

Nan Keeton
Deputy Museum Director, External Relations, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Kirsten Komoroske
Executive Director, Walt Disney Family Museum

John Konstin
Owner, John's Grill

Michael Masserman
Head of Global Policy & Social Impact, Lyft

Isabelle Matter
General Manager, YOTEL

Matt Middlebrook
Head of Policy - San Francisco and Hawaii, Airbnb

Stefan Muhle
Area General Manager, Noble House Hotels

Steven Nelick
Vice President, Enterprise Holdings

Kirk Pederson
President, Kokua Hospitality

Anderson Pugash
CEO, Serious Leisure

Amy Rouas
Head of Industry - Travel, Google

Ivar Satero
Director, San Francisco International Airport

Brian Sheehy
CEO, Future Bars Group

Lori Starr
Executive Director, Contemporary Jewish Museum

Ingrid Summerfield
President, Ingrid Summerfield Hospitality

Laurie Thomas
President and CEO, Nice Ventures

Monetta White
Owner, 1300 on Fillmore

Past Chairs

Melinda Yee Franklin
(2016-17)
Managing Director, Corporate & Government Affairs, United Airlines

Rodrigo Enriquez
(2016-17)

Anna Marie Presutti
(2015-16)
Vice President / General Manager, Nikko Hotels International / Hotel Nikko San Francisco

Stephen Revetria
(2014-15)
Vice President & General Manager, Giants Enterprises

Mariann Costello
(2013-14)
Vice President, Scoma's

David Nadelman
(2012-13)
General Manager, Grand Hyatt San Francisco

John Cope
(2011-12)
Retired

Toni Knorr
(2010-11)
Retired

Rodney Fong
(2009-10)
President, Fong Real Estate Company

General Department Emails

San Francisco Travel Locations

Business Office
One Front St., Suite 2900
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-974-6900
Fax: 415-227-2602

Visitor Information Center
749 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94102-2804
Phone: 415-391-2000
Fax: 415-362-7323

Visitor Information Center
Macy's San Francisco
170 O'Farrell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Convention Sales Office - Washington, D.C.
1730 M St., NW, Ste. 807
Washington, D.C. 20036-4505
Phone: 202-466-4400
Fax: 202-452-8948

Convention Sales Office - Midwest Region
Phone: 630-541-5388
Fax: 630-395-9461

Convention Sales Office - Northeast
Phone: 718-636-6043