SF travel industry reacts to Newsom's reopening announcement

Those in the travel industry were quick to respond, saying they are already in the midst of booking fall conventions. That's in addition to one in San Francisco that has already been finalized.

Video Transcript

RAKESH PATEL: Great news. So now people finally can come out.

JR STONE: San Francisco motel owner Rakesh Patel is reacting to news from California Governor Gavin Newsom over his announcement Tuesday of fully reopening the state by June 15. Patel says he's already seen business on the uptick here at the Alpha Inn & Suites.

RAKESH PATEL: This last couple of weeks, like, we're getting busy a lot, like, almost 100% occupancy.

JR STONE: Conventions in California will technically be allowed come April 15, but news of a full state reopening is a difference maker when it comes to bringing conventions to San Francisco, says Joe D'allesandro of San Francisco Travel.

JOE D'ALESSANDRO: A lot of planners have been telling us we'd love to meet in San Francisco in the fall, but they're uncomfortable making the commitment until they know that we're going to be open for meetings. So this does mean, it is a big deal.

JR STONE: In Hayes Valley, owners and managers tell us when theater and City Hall business picks up, they pick up. Conventions will help. But those at Fig and Thistle say business is already picking up.

NINA LAY: We didn't know how long the end of the tunnel would be, and we're seeing light. And yeah, we are looking hopeful.

JR STONE: There's a long way to go, though. Patel says this motel room of his went for $700 a night during the Salesforce convention two years ago. It's now going for between $50 and $60. Those in the industry believe after San Francisco's $8 billion tourism loss in 2020, we appear to be on the right track.

JOE D'ALESSANDRO: Maybe small meetings are happening later this month, but the larger conventions won't happen until the fall.

JR STONE: In fact, one of those has already been booked here in San Francisco. Other conventions are being organized. JR Stone, ABC 7 News.