‘I come from a third world country and it is not as bad as this’: San Francisco’s homelessness and opioid crises drive away business, as $40m convention cancels because members are too SCARED to walk alone
Convention is canceling its meeting in San Francisco because its board members feel unsafe in the city
•Said it had three main concerns: open drug use, threatening behavior and mental illness on display
•Last year, a board member was assaulted near the Moscone Center, where conventions are usually held
•Tourism is a big business in San Francisco, bringing in around $9billion a year and employing 80,000 people
•Mayor-elect London Breed is being urged to increase police foot presence and mental health services
•Roughly 7,500 people in the city are homeless and an estimated 22,000 are intravenous drug users
If the city doesn’t act soon to clear up it’s streets, tourism officials warn that it will have a dire impact on tourism, which is San Francisco’s biggest industry, generating $9 billion a year, $725 million in local taxes and providing employment to around 80,000 people. Conventions represent almost 20 per cent of the tourism revenue, bringing in $1.7 billion of the business.
‘It’s the first time that we have had an out-and-out cancellation over the issue, and this is a group that has been coming here every three or four years since the 1980s,’ said Joe D’Alessandro, the president and CEO of S.F. Travel, who declined to name the convention.
‘There was a time when the biggest obstacle to having a convention here was that it can be expensive,’ he said, ‘but now we have this new factor’.
D’Alessandro said other conventions have also expressed concerns.
h/t Wash 2.0