The economic impact of tourism on San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

The economic impact of tourism on San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - From Balboa Park, to the beaches, San Diegans have begun to notice the city's main attractions are attracting a few more people. On Thursday, it wasn't too hard to spot tourists from around the country.

"Every summer we come here. It's the closest to Phoenix to get to, and it's awesome," said Jason Law.

As summer kicks in, the influx of tourists have begun to make their way to America's Finest City.

"Almost all of our friends come to Southern California at some point. We just ran into some friends walking on the street," said Law.

Economics Professor at USD Alan Gin said a mixture of great weather and world class attractions bring in all the out of staters. More people means more money for the local economy, according to Professor Gin.

"San Diego is a huge tourism destination. The impact is throughout the spectrum as far as the size of businesses. Big companies will benefit from that, hotels, chain restaurants, and the little mom and pop operations too," said Professor Gin.

For mom and pop shops like Ko-Jacks on Mission Beach, the big crowds are like Christmas, and the spike in business means more jobs.

"Oh I tell you. We love it right now. This what we wait for all year. We do like seasonal hiring in the summer. We add like three to four people in the summer time," said Ko-Jacks owner, Mike Soltan.

As with everything, with the good side, comes the down side. More traffic, longer wait times, but Professor Gin said the next time you are caught in a line of tourists, remember, the following: that line may be saving you money.

"It's estimated that over $600 million in taxes in general, including sales taxes, is generated by the tourism industry. All the money goes into local government coffers, and that reduces the amount of taxes San Diegans have to pay.

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