We were befuddled by one statistic in the Examiner's article
on how tourism to the city grew in 2008: "About 131,000 people visited The City daily last year, spending an average of $23.33 a day."
Huh -- $23.33 a day?! Who are these frugal travelers? An Alcatraz tour itself easily costs twice that. And lodging? Even a bed in a four-person hostel room near Union Square costs $29.75 a night. Perhaps they could sleep on park benches -- but we haven't noticed too many Puma-wearing, Italian-speaking tourists taking shelter in the bushes.
So we called up the Convention and Visitors Bureau and talked to the guy in charge, Joe D'Alessandro. Since when is our city the cheapest destination this side of the Mississippi? What money-saving tips could these tourists have for the rest of us?
D'Alessandro dashed our hopes that we'd landed in Oz, saying it was
just a typo, and sent us the press release that proved what we know
all too well: San Francisco is damn expensive.
the release, "In 2008, there was an average of 131,722 visitors
in San Francisco each day. Visitor spending equated to $22.33 million
daily." Doing the math, that breaks down to about $170 per person per
But, hey, if anyone wants to take the $22.33 Tourism Challenge, let us know how it goes.