Skip to main content



Monday, March 14, 2022

Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications,



Mayor to join San Francisco International Airport and tourism officials on four-city tour to re-establish San Francisco as the Gateway to the West

San Francisco, CA — Today, Mayor London N. Breed will depart for Europe as part of a City visit to support bringing international travel back to San Francisco. The Mayor will be visiting London, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Paris, where she will meet with airlines, airports, and local leaders to both continue and expand partnerships to reestablish San Francisco International Airport (SFO) as the international gateway to California and a hub for European markets, and to bring tourists back to San Francisco.

The European markets are expected to lead the global recovery for United States visitation, and the goal of this trip is to bring those visitors to San Francisco and the Bay Area. San Francisco International Airport was one of the most severely impacted airports during COVID, largely due to a loss of international travel. At SFO, as of December 2021, domestic enplanements were close to 70% what they were pre-pandemic, while International enplanements were approximately 40% of their pre-pandemic levels. This has taken its toll on key tourism industries, and as of December 2021, San Francisco’s Accommodation industry had only recovered 53% of their jobs, while the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation industry had only recovered 62%, and the Food and Drinking Establishments had recovered only 82%.

“We have a lot of work to do to get our economy going again, and we need to do everything we can to bring visitors back to this City,” said Mayor London Breed. “Tourism is so essential to providing jobs and support for our restaurants, hotels, small businesses, and the arts, as well as the revenue that allows us to deliver all the support and services for those in need. My focus right now is lifting this City up and making sure everyone sees that we are focused on recovery as we emerge from this pandemic.”

Accelerating SFO’s recovery through aviation development efforts, travel trade, and direct-to-consumer programs is essential to the economic well-being of San Francisco and the Bay Area. On the trip, the Mayor will be joined by leadership from San Francisco International Airport and SF Travel. Examples of meetings include with executives at Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport, British Airways, Brussels International Airport, Air Belgium, and Lufthansa, as well as meeting with various other officials. She will also be meeting with local officials, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and doing media interviews with local and trade publications to create positive attention for San Francisco in Europe. The Mayor’s travel is funded by the San Francisco International Airport, which is an enterprise department, meaning it does not rely on the City’s General Fund.

“San Francisco has always been one of the country’s most popular destinations for international visitors, and we know people are ready to travel again,” said Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of SF Travel. “SF Travel has been working tirelessly to build back our domestic and international profile as we emerge from two difficult years of this pandemic and we are thrilled the Mayor is joining us to tell San Francisco’s story and strengthen the bonds with Europe. Our economic recovery is reliant on a strong international travel market and we are eager to do everything we can to bring visitors back to support our local businesses, artists, and everyone who makes this City special.”

This visit comes after the Mayor’s State of the City Address last week, where she focused on San Francisco’s recovery and that San Francisco can no longer take for granted the business and travel, and the resulting spending and tax revenues, that existed before the pandemic. Through interviews with local media she will also work on telling the story of San Francisco, another point she made in the State of the City.