Pride Census Shows Economy In Slow Down
Tourist Revenue Takes A Plunge, But Confidence High


This year's survey of the Pride audience offers a unique insight into how the broader economic slowdown is affecting the leisure industry. Overall, tourist spending at the State's largest event declined by around 23% this year from a record $150m last year to $114 this year. Even so, this is a conservative estimate based upon direct spending only. The real impact is probably nearer to $150m. Pride President, Cecilia Chung, said:

"Last year, times were good. The economy was at an all time high and this coupled with it being the 30th anniversary of the event led to a record number of visitors and a record economic impact for the City. I think what we are seeing this year is the restoration of a more normal pattern."

The economic impact of the event is equivalent to the actual dollars spent by those attending the event, no multipliers are used. Spending peaked in 2000 as can be seen from the these figures:

2001 2000 1999 1998
Economic Impact 113,701,825 148,567,530 103,003,800 78,500,000
Sales Tax Generated 8,665,497 11,638,931 8,047,172 6,149,770
Spending On Hotel Accom. 14,309,046 26,516,646 14,743,515 11,053,577
Hotel Tax Generated 2,003,266 3,712,330 2,064,092 1,547,501
Amount Generated For GFTA 170,278 315,548 175,448 131,538

The evaporation at the luxury end of the market was the main reason for the decrease in tourist spending. The downturn has little direct financial effect on the event itself but is part of the larger trend for the local visitor industry. President of the San Francisco Conventions & Visitors Bureau, John Marks, said:

"San Francisco's Pride Celebration is a long-standing tradition from which the City benefits annually. Not only does the event generate measurable economic impact, it also creates further awareness of San Francisco's warm hospitality to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities."

The hotel community and the City can take some comfort from the figures, however. Although spending was down, the event still generated over 84,000 hotel room nights, $2m in hotel tax and $170,278 for the City's Grants For The Arts Program which funds arts events throughout the year. Visitors were also in an optimistic mood about the future. When asked how many vacations they were planning in the year ahead, 72.8% planned to take two or more compared with 72.6% the year before and, 69% of those planned to return to San Francisco. Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington, said:

"This year SF Pride generated record funds for community groups, substantial revenues for the City, and healthy income for local businesses. In a year when most of the news is gloomy and conditions are tough, it speaks to the strength and integrity of the event that we are able to do this."

SF LGBT Pride 2002 takes place over the weekend of June 29 and 30, 2002.

ENDS

For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at : (415) 864 0831