COVID-19 reached San Diego in early March, causing a total shutdown of the tourism industry. All attractions, restaurants, and lodging services closed their doors to guests by the middle of the month as official stay-at-home orders issued by the state went into effect Thursday, March 19.
- With county shelter-in-place measures beginning mid-March, visitors to San Diego County dropped 57 percent to 1.3 million, with day visitation posting the largest decline at 72 percent.
- Spending at local businesses also dropped 55 percent year-over-year to $409 million, compared to $905 million in March 2019.
- As expected, hotel occupancy plummeted 49 percent year-over-year to 41.0 percent in the county, dragging average daily rates down 17 percent to $135.01 for the month.
- The Convention Center held two events prior to shutting down, hosting nearly 12,900 guests who spent $19.9 million at local businesses.
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