Excerpt from full document by Tourism Economics for the SDTA.
As the year concludes, San Diego visitation and traveler spending both look to have had a very strong 2018. Approximately 35.8 million visitors will have spent around $11.3 billion, representing 2.3% growth in visitation and 4.7% growth in spending compared to 2017. Day visitor growth outpaced overnight visitor growth, expanding 2.9% and 1.7%, respectively. Day visits from Mexico have recovered from last year’s 5.3% decline to expand by around 0.2% annually in 2018. Furthermore, day visits excluding Mexico registered 3.8% growth, supporting the bulk of overall visitation growth. Hotel demand growth is projected to grow 2.0% by the end of 2018, notably faster than hotel supply growth (+0.6%). The average daily room rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) both look to continue recent strength, growing 3.3% and 4.7%, respectively.
Our San Diego visitor forecast for 2019 has come down from our June estimates as visitation slowed from the Q1 strength (+8.4%) to a subdued average growth rate of 0.9% over the latter three quarters of 2018. We foresee overall visitation growing 2.0%, supported by 2.0% growth in both the day and overnight segments. We expect visitation to hover near 2.0% through 2022, with increased emphasis on day travel growth. Expected to average around 2.1% through 2023, day travel growth will likely outpace overnight travel over the same period (+1.9%). Expenditures were also revised down slightly for 2019, as we now anticipate overall growth of 3.9%, supported by overnight traveler spending (+4.1%). In the hotel sector, room supply growth is expected to outpace room demand growth in 2019 and will continue to do so through 2023. Occupancy is expected to moderate slightly to 78.0% in 2019 from 78.3% in 2018, and will continue to soften, registering around 76% by 2023. ADR growth is expected to continue, however we forecast growth easing to 2.5% in 2019 and 2020, and then 2.0% in 2021. RevPAR is expected to follow a similar trend, registering 2.1% in 2019 and falling below 2% for the remainder of our projections.
For complete overview including U.S. and international outlooks, please go to www.sandiego.org/research to download the full report.