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To Our Stakeholders:

Tourism is a key catalyst for vibrant regional economies. The San Diego regional economy benefits from the positive awareness of San Diego as a premiere travel destination. Our community depends upon more visitor spending and tourism sector job growth. Our city needs the nearly $200 million in transient occupancy taxes generated to hire more police, pave more roads and maintain our parks. The San Diego people benefit when our tourism economy is strong.

2015 was a year of great success for the San Diego Tourism Authority. We had record breaking visitation and spending. Our citywide sales team had its highest room night production in the past decade. Our marketing team generated unprecedented global exposure for San Diego. And through the National Geographic initiative, we delivered a new story for San Diegans to celebrate and global audiences to embrace. As we look ahead, we appreciate your support and engagement as we strive to deliver even greater value for the people of San Diego.

Ted Molter
Chairman of the Board
Joe Terzi
President & CEO
THE POWER OF TOURISM

Visitor Taxes Fund City Services Including:

  • Police and Fire
  • Lifeguards
  • Clean Beaches
  • Road Repairs
  • Infrastructure
  • Parks and Recreation
  • And more...

FY 2015 HIGHLIGHTS

DELIVERING ROI

$30 to $1

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  1. Achieved 16.33% market share of hotel room nights sold in the Western Region competitive set.
  2. Delivered 355,479 NEW definite hotel meeting group room nights.
  3. Booked 1,000,907 citywide group room nights.
  4. Produced nearly $1 billion paid advertising impressions.
  5. Generated $34.7 million in unpaid media exposure through public relations, promotions and cooperative advertising.
  6. Delivered 9.1 million visitor inquiries.
  7. Produced $3.2 million in private source revenue.
*Based on lodging revenue generated for the City of San Diego Tourism Marketing District, July 2014 – June 2015.

SALES&SERVICES

Hotel Meetings

FY 2015 was the first year for the team to be goaled on booking new business only. The goal has been to find new meetings from new and existing customers, or a meeting that has not booked in San Diego for at least five years. This change in focus was the reason we started “The Year of Customer Acquisition.” With additional funding we are bringing more customers to our destination on site experience familiarizations and going out to more cities to showcase San Diego as one of the world’s smartest cities.

*We continue to assist repeat or annual programs that need our help. These room nights are not part of our sales team goals and are primarily handled by our site experience team.
Definite room nights booked 355,479 101.6% of Goal
Assists 18,573 Room Night Assists*
110,857Annual/Repeat Room Nights*
649 Hotel Site Visits
23 Customer Events
67 Trade Shows

San Diego Meeting Certified

The second class of San Diego Meeting Certified was held in FY 2015 and another 98 sales managers from a variety of hotels, resorts, venues, attractions and restaurants graduated, bringing the total to 315 graduates from the destination. The purpose of the program is to ensure each of our destination sellers are tuned into our customer needs and conduct powerful site experiences when the planners are meeting in our city. The certification program is endorsed by the School of Hospitality at SDSU, MPI, HSMAI and the TMD.
98FY 2015 Meeting Certified Graduates
315Program Graduates
FY 16 Session
Starts May 18, 2016

Citywide Sales

FY 2015 BOOKED
1 million Room Nights
71 Conventions
FY 2015 REALIZED
693,772 Room Nights
553,283 Attendance
$620 millionAttendee Spending
After an extraordinary year in FY 2015 with more than 1 million room nights booked, the Citywide Sales Team is on pace to a record year at the convention center.

Supporting San Diego’s position as a worldwide medical industry leader, several major medical shows will convene at the San Diego Convention center in 2016:
  • The Society for Neuroscience
  • American Society of Hematology
  • Experimental Biology Digestive Disease Week
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology

Marketing

National Geographic

2015 was the year San Diego took its place on the global stage. The National Geographic Channel’s “World’s Smart Cities: San Diego” documentary aired in over 60 countries worldwide reaching an estimated 250 million households. The project helped raise awareness of San Diego not only a leader in leisure travel but as an innovative city of the 21st century with world-class learning institutions, a highly skilled and diverse workforce, sophisticated business environment and unparalleled quality of life. Three years in the making, SDTA spearheaded this $6 million project by bringing together San Diego’s tourism sector, business, local government, university and non-profit innovators to partner with National Geographic Channel to showcase San Diego as an ideal place to visit, meet, work, learn, invest and live.

National Geographic

Branding Campaign

4.4 Million Room Nights
$631 Million Hotel Room Revenue
After an extensive global research project in 2014, including 5,000 traveler surveys in seven countries and four domestic focus groups, the brand position and travel motivation testing confirmed that San Diego’s brand platform is solid and differentiating. San Diego owns a Sunny Outlook. Consumers describe San Diego as a happy, good vibes place. The weather, outdoor nature of the destination and friendly people create a lifestyle/vibe that collectively become a mood enhancer. The Happiness is Calling “Signs” campaign hinges on this unique blend of attributes and acts to remind people of the great feelings that await them in this joy-filled destination.

The fully integrated “Signs” campaign launched in February 2015 in order to stimulate leisure demand leading into the spring and summer travel seasons. Nearly 600 million paid media impressions ran nationally in key spot markets with media tactics including spot market television and out-of-home, regional print as well as national, western region and spot market digital video, display and native content distribution.

Branding
Campaign

Branding Campaign

Sub-Regional Marketing

$1 millionMedia Spend
24 million Impressions Delivered
$10.6 million Earned Media Value
MISSION VALLEY Positively in the Middle of it All
LA JOLLA The Jewel by the Sea
MISSION BAY Good Vibes on the Water
POINT LOMA PENINSULA Where Inspiration Sets Sail
NORTH COASTAL A Vibrant Kind of Chill
NORTH INLAND Wide Open Wonderful

Sub-Regional Marketing

Public Relations

Reaching 18 countries and billions of readers and viewers, the San Diego Tourism Authority's media relations efforts give potential travelers a deeper knowledge of the destination's vast offerings from the arts to the zoo.
$30 Million in Earned Media Generated
9.9 Billion Media Impressions
526 Media Assisted
300 Media Hosted

Public Relations

Management

Financial Report

  FY 2015
REVENUE PUBLIC SOURCES  
   
San Diego Tourism Marketing District $22,971.80
County of San Diego grant 79.0
  $23,050.8
PRIVATE SOURCES  
   
Advertising sales 2,820.2
Service agreements 2,508.1
Attraction ticket sales 1,026.4
Membership dues 1,365.0
Sponsorships and events 1,833.9
Commisions and other income 94.5
  9,648.1
  32,698.9
  FY 2015
OPERATING COSTS AND EXPENSES  
   
Advertising 15,869.9
Television $5,508.6
Online 4,959.8
Production 2,885.2
Print 1,491.8
Outdoor 1,024.5
Salaries and employee benefits 8,281.1
Professional services 2,912.0
Administrative and general expenses 2,258.4
Cost of attraction tickets 815.9
Promotions and events 1,401.4
Tourism research 468.2
Travel and entertainment 548.9
Promotional materials and other expenses 333.0
  32,888.8

Looking Ahead

TMD 20-Year Master Plan

To guide the long-term success of San Diego’s tourism economy, the TMD has developed a 20-year master plan with input from nearly 200 community stakeholders across the public and private sector. This bold undertaking comes at a critical time in San Diego’s tourism industry. Over the past five years, competitive destinations have invested heavily in new product development, air access and brand marketing. And the competitive pressure is intensifying as Universal Studios Hollywood launches their $1.6 billion capital investment, Disneyland plans its $1 billion Star Wars Land attraction and numerous convention centers expand. The 20-year master plan seeks to address issues and opportunities around 4 key themes facing San Diego: Transportation, MICE, Brand Development and Leisure Asset Development. In the year ahead, the SDTA staff and board look forward to working closely with the TMD to deploy against the master plan.

Global Promotion

International travelers are highly desirable as they stay longer and spend more than domestic travelers. In 2015, the U.S. Travel Association projects that international travel will grow to over 75 million. California is one of the nation’s top states for international travelers and San Diego is the 11th most visited city.

In 2015, the TMD increased the SDTA’s international marketing budget in order to better capitalize on this highly lucrative and growing market segment. As a result, the SDTA now targets 6 priority international markets with trade representation, public relations, social media, and consumer direct marketing. The countries are: Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, China, Japan and Australia. The SDTA has grown co-operative partnerships with Brand USA, Visit California and travel partners in country in order to increase exposure and expand San Diego’s global footprint.

Business Identity

Over the past five years, the SDTA has built a strong partnership with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation to grow awareness of San Diego’s business culture. In the highly competitive meetings and convention market, a destination’s business reputation is now a key consideration of whether to hold an event there or not. To grow San Diego’s corporate business travel segment, a thriving business community is essential. San Diego has an appealing business culture that is shaped by the climate and lifestyle. This culture has fueled a business community that is entrepreneurial, collaborative and inspired. The SDTA and EDC plan to continue working together to share San Diego’s compelling business identity with the world thus extending the National Geographic Channel “World’s Smart Cities: San Diego” story.

Launch of New Website & Social Media Platforms

In the ever-evolving communications landscape, it is imperative that the SDTA grows its digital platforms to meet customer needs. Today, the SDTA digital ecosystem spreads across 15 web, mobile and social media properties for leisure travelers, meeting planners, travel trade professionals, members and business community audiences. With over 10 million inquiries per year and growing, the SDTA’s platforms are a vital marketing communications tool. In the year ahead, the SDTA will be evolving to a responsive website that will seamlessly publish across desktop, mobile and tablet. In addition, all social media properties and blogs will be updated and integrated in order to continue expanding SDTA’s digital universe.

Leadership

Board Chairman

TED MOLTER
Chief Marketing Officer
San Diego Zoo Global

Executive Committee

THELLA BOWENS
President & CEO
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

JOE EUSTICE (TREASURER)
General Manager
Wyndham San Diego Bayside

DAN FULLEN (1ST VICE CHAIR)
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Evans Hotels

FRED GLICK
Brewpub Chieftan
Karl Strauss Brewing Company

MARILYN HANNES
Park President
SeaWorld San Diego

KEVIN KONOPASEK
General Manager
The Dana on Mission Bay

TUNI KYI
General Manager
San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina

ELVIN LAI
President & CEO
Ocean Park Inn

SCOTT MCGAUGH
Marketing Director
USS Midway Museum

KRIS MICHELL (SECRETARY)
President & CEO
Downtown San Diego Partnership

MIKE STAPLES
General Manager
Catamaran Resort and Spa

Board Members

MATT ADAMS
Area VP and General Manager
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

LUIS BARRIOS
General Manager
Hilton San Diego Airport – Harbor Island

ANN BERCHTOLD
Founder & Director
ART SAN DIEGO / BTB-ART, Inc.

JOHN BLEM
Area General Manager
Evolution Hospitality

ANN CALLAHAN
Owner
Ann Callahan’s Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast

MAUREEN CAREW
General Manager
Courtyard San Diego Rancho Bernardo

DANIA DUKE
General Manager
Hyatt Regency La Jolla

DAVID HALL
Managing Directorr
Paradise Point Resort & Spa

CHRISTOF LUEDI
General Manager
Fairmont Grand Del Mar

JENNIFER MILLER
President
ACCESS Destination Services

JIM ODDO
General Manager
Four Points by Sheraton San Diego

ANTHONY PALMERI
President
Yellow Radio Service

JIMMY PARKER
Executive Director
Productions by Parker

PETER RIPA
CEO
Century Club of San Diego

PEDRO VILLEGAS
Director of Community Relations
San Diego Gas & Electric

BRUCE WALTON
Vice President, Government Relations
Competitor Group Inc. & Terramar Retail Properties

TONY YOUNG
President
Civic Link Strategies

ALAN ZITER
Executive Director
NTC Foundation

Joe Terzi President & CEO
Margie Sitton Senior Vice President of Sales & Services
Kerri Verbeke Kapich Senior Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships
Richard Meza Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Rick Outcalt Senior Vice President of Citywide Sales
Althea Salas Vice President of Human Resources
Isabel Sauerbrey Vice President of Information Technology & Operations


For more information about the San Diego Tourism Authority visit sandiego.org/about

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Copyright ©2016 San Diego Tourism Authority. 750 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 TEL. 619.232.3101
The San Diego Tourism Authority is funded in part by the San Diego Tourism Marketing District Corporation with City of San Diego Tourism Marketing District assessment funds.