San Antonio's Tourism Numbers Up Sharply in Past Two Years

Some eye-popping new figures on the number of visitors coming to San Antonio.

Richard Oliver with Visit San Antonio says the city's tourism industry continues to skyrocket.

Our numbers went up from 2017 to 2018 by two million," Oliver said. "So we are up to 39 million visitors a year."

A number of factors are credited with the strong growth in tourism. They include the 2015 designation of the Spanish Colonial Missions as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which has spurred global tourism, especially a major increase in tourism from China, where people are just now becoming wealthy enough to be able to travel internationally. San Antonio has received a number of plaudits lately as a desitination which is affordable, exciting, and family friendly. The city's culinary tourism industry is also growing as San Antonio builds its reputation as a center for southwestern and Latin American cuisine. Also, the strong national economy is boosting tourism generally, with many travel records set over holidays in 2019.

"When you are thinking about 39 million visitors a year, they come here because they are treated well," Oliver said. "They are treated like family."

Oliver says the local tourism industry has a $15.2 billion annual impact on San Antonio's economy, and that number is going up sharply as well.