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2014 Brings A Record Number Of Visitors To San Diego

Nearly 33.8 million people visited San Diego this year and that's a record for the local visitor industry.

Nearly 33.8 million people visited San Diego this year and that's a record for the local visitor industry.

The San Diego Tourism Authority's Joe Terzi said in addition to a record number of visitors, hotels booked 16.2 million room nights and visitors spent $9.2 billion. He said the region's reputation as a vacation destination helped drive that business.

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The downtown San Diego skyline is seen at night.

"Almost 70 percent of the people that are in San Diego staying overnight are actually here on leisure, not business, which is different than some of the other major cities that have a significant portion of their economy being business related," Terzi said.

The news is good for more than the hotel industry, Terzi said.

"Only 30 percent of the spend, of somebody coming into a community and staying overnight, goes into the hotel community," Terzi said. "Seventy percent of that spend goes into restaurants, into attractions, into retail."

Tourism was up all around the nation, largely because the health of the national economy is improving, Terzi said. San Diego's gains were mirrored in the rest of the region. Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles also had good years for tourism.

Local officials are hoping to encourage more foreign travelers to visit San Diego because travelers from other countries tend to spend more money when they visit, he said.

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Agency said tourism is San Diego's third largest industry.

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Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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