San Francisco's tourism industry is flourishing. 2018 was a record-smashing year for San Francisco, according to a new report from the San Francisco Travel Association. Not only are travelers flocking to San Francisco in droves, visitor spending has surged - great news for the city and its dwellers and businesses.

San Francisco drew a total of 25.8 million visitors to the city in 2018, an increase of 1.2% compared to 2017. Visitor spending, on the other hand, did even better. In fact, total visitor spending for 2018 amounted to a whopping $10 billion, an increase of 2.3% over 2017's. Thanks to the healthy visitor spending in 2018, 82,538 jobs were created while services for people throughout the city and the entire Bay Area were supported.

As San Francisco continues to attract people from all over the world, the city remains optimistic that 2019 will be even better. The city is positive that more people will explore its neighborhoods, shop at its many small, local businesses, dine at its fantastic array of restaurants, as well as support San Francisco's local economy in general.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) served a total of 57.8 million passengers in 2018, a record-breaking figure for the largest airport in Northern California. And if you are a frequent traveler based in the Bay Area, you will be stoked to know Alaska Airlines is opening a new luxury lounge in San Francisco International Airport next year. The stunning new lounge will definitely will help deepen Alaska Airlines' commitment to serving travelers in the Bay Area.

At this time, San Francisco has more room nights on the books than ever before, possibly attributed to the recently expanded Moscone Center. Growth in convention bookings is anticipated, without a doubt, as is a higher average hotel occupancy rate and higher average hotel nightly rate for 2019.

Denise Bay is a staff writer at Email: