Foreign tourists are returning to the U.S. with the gradual opening of international travel, but are avoiding San Francisco, where the number of arrivals from overseas has dropped by a staggering 93% from 2019.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday:
After a dismal pandemic year, cities and industries are optimistic about a rebound in international travelers visiting the U.S. Already, more people are traveling from abroad to U.S. cities like Miami and New York. But one city that has yet to see substantially more overseas travelers is San Francisco.
The number of overseas visitors entering the U.S. through San Francisco was down 93% in June, according to preliminary data from the International Trade Administration. The agency tracks visitation through I-94s, which are forms completed by overseas visitors when entering the United States by air, land or sea. Nearly all of San Francisco’s I-94s are collected at the San Francisco International Airport.
Pre-pandemic, San Francisco was one of the most popular U.S. destinations for overseas visitors. It had the fourth most international travelers in June 2019, behind New York, Los Angeles and Miami. The city now ranks 12th, with about 15,000 overseas visitors entering last month — down 93% from 233,000 in June 2019. Visitation to Los Angeles is also low, with 88% fewer travelers from abroad.
San Francisco has suffered poor publicity lately. There was an exodus of residents during the coronavirus pandemic, continuing a trend driven by the high cost of living. In addition, the city is struggling to deal with growing homelessness, and both violent and petty crime are on the rise.
Lately, shoplifting in the city has been out of control, thanks to new restrictions on police, and to the fact that proposition 47 reclassified theft of goods below $950 as a misdemeanor. Several stores in the city have left, or have cut their business hours, in response to theft losses.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.