LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) — The U.S. Open's return to Torrey Pines is bringing more than just the world's best players to San Diego. It is also bringing a much-needed boost to San Diego's tourism industry, which is just starting to rebound from the pandemic.
Bob Rauch, who owns several hotels located not far from the golf course, says they are all sold out, as is every other hotel in the area.
“The spending is huge," said Rauch. "These people who are coming for the us open are spending more money in food, beverage, and retail, and transportation. They’re flying in from all over.”
The economic impact goes far beyond the tens of millions of dollars being spent in San Diego this week. That's because of the hours of television coverage being broadcast around the globe each day of the event.
“It’s like buying advertising for San Diego, but it’s being done on a large global platform," said Kerri Kapich, COO of the San Diego Tourism Authority.
Kapich points out that millions of people around the world will see San Diego's natural beauty and hear about some of the draws to the region outside of the iconic golf course.
“It is a wonderful way to get the message of San Diego and beauty of San Diego out across to audiences everywhere," said Kapich.
Local tourism experts say the summer season is looking strong, possibly even back to pre-pandemic levels. However, they warn that a significant slowdown is expected in the fall and winter, because business and convention travel will be slower to return to normal. That's why the impact of the U.S. Open could be important to help lure more travelers.
“The PR value is absolutely unbelievable," Rauch said. "You can’t put a price on it. It really is priceless.”