SFTID FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the TID?

A: The San Francisco Tourism Improvement District was created in 2009 by San Francisco Travel, in partnership with the local hotel industry and city government. Its purpose is to ensure adequate funding for the ongoing promotion of San Francisco as a global visitor and meetings destination. By collecting a small assessment on hotel room revenue, San Francisco Travel is able to fund its worldwide efforts to keep our city competitive with leisure and business travelers alike.

70% of TID collections fund San Francisco Travel's global marketing and sales campaigns, as well as funding the staff who execute those campaigns. 22% of TID collections support the personnel and administrative activities that keep San Francisco Travel operational.  8% of TID collections are placed in reserve.

Q: What is the benefit of the TID?

A: The TID allows San Francisco Travel to continue its work independent of City budgets. Prior to the creation of the TID, San Francisco Travel had an average budget of $15 million. More than half of that funding came from the City. As such, our budget was never secure year to year, fluctuating with any reallocation or reduction in funding determined by the mayor and the Board of Supervisors. 

After the establishment of the TID, San Francisco Travel's budget grew to $40 million, allowing us to greatly expand our sales and marketing efforts; to host major events and meetings that generate room nights and economic impact; and to remain competitive as a global destination.

Because of our greater capabilities with TID funding, San Francisco has seen its ADR, RevPAR, and room revenue climb to the top of U.S. markets for much of the past decade.

Q: Why must we renew the TID?

A: The TID is voted and agreed upon by the assessed accommodations and requires city legislation to be approved and renewed. Currently, the TID is set to expire in 2023. There is a lot of work to be done to secure its renewal, which is why we're starting now.

Renewing the TID is also essential to helping our city's tourism industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If we want San Francisco to remain a competitive global destination, we need to secure the TID's renewal. Without it, our funding—and the programs it supports—will be severely limited. 

If the TID is successfully renewed, the new assessment structure will begin in January 2024 and last through 2039. 

Q: Are there going to be changes to the TID?

A: As part of the renewal process, we are pursuing some changes to the TID:
  • Increasing the current assessment on San Francisco hotels by 0.25%, to remain competitive in the market and offset costs for qualifying Moscone Center events.
  • Including short-term rental platforms (AirBnB and others) in TID collections.
  • Allowing for the possibility of an increase in TID assessments (up to 1%) during unforeseen or critical needs upon approval by a high threshold of the TID Board.
  • Modifying the TID Board to better reflect its constituency.

Q: What is the TID assessment rate now and what is the proposed assessment?

A: The current TID assessment is 1.0% of room revenue for hotels in Zone 1 and 0.75% of room revenue for hotels in Zone 2. The proposed plan would increase assessments in both zones by 0.25%.

Q: Is there criteria for spending revenues generated from the proposed .25% increase?

A: Criteria for how to use the revenues generated from the .25% still need to be established and will require approval from the Tourism Improvement District Management Corporation Board of Directors (TIDMC Board). Examples of eligible costs that the revenues could be directed toward include Moscone rent, transportation, and security. Food and beverage costs are no eligible for a discount.

Q: Would the proposed .25% increase make San Francisco less competitive?

A: Up against our top 25 markets, San Francisco ranks #7 on for hotel taxes. This ranking stays the same when TID/MED and proposed .25% is included. Competing cities offer their convention centers for free or provide other incentives to book business. San Francisco needs the revenue generated from the increased TID assessment to also offer incentives to remain competitive. The .25% increase is a small cost to a visitor for a big impact on our ability to attract and retain business at Moscone Center.

Q: What does the approval process look like if the TID needs to be increased for unforeseen circumstances?

A: The TIDMC Board of Directors would follow strict parameters for approval of any potential increase in TID to weather unforeseen circumstances. Should the TIDMC Board wish to increase the assessment by any rate up to 1%, they would need to have a supermajority of the board, with a majority of hotel general managers, approve the increase. If an increase was approved, the TIDMC Board would review the increase decision annually (or more often if they deem the need) to determine if the increase was still necessary.

Q: What will the TID Renewal proposal look like on the ballot?

A: The ballot has not been drafted yet, but San Francisco Travel will work with the City’s Department of Elections on the language for the renewal ballot. The ballot will have one vote for the renewal of the TID, which will include the proposed .25% increase, short-term rentals as a new type of assessed business, and the ability for the TIDMC Board to increase the TID assessment by up to 1% for unforeseen circumstances. For reference, the 2008 ballot for to establish the TID can be found here.

Q: How does San Francisco's hotel tax and TID assessment compare to taxes and assessments in other U.S. cities?

A: If the TID renewal is approved, San Francisco’s 14% hotel tax, 1% MED assessment, and 1.25% TID assessment would be 16.25%. It would be comparable to total taxes, assessments and fees in cities such as Denver (15.75%) and Los Angeles (15.5%), and below cities such as New Orleans (17.75%), Chicago (17.39%), Anaheim (17%), Atlanta (16.9%), and San Antonio (16.75%).

Q:Would you like to know more?

A: If you have questions about the TID, the renewal process, or simply want to know more about its benefit, you can reach out to any of the following San Francisco Travel team members:

Join Our Meetings

The San Francisco Travel Association hosted four outreach meetings in March and April with hotel general managers, owners, and asset managers. If additional meetings are scheduled, you can register here.

If you cannot attend a meeting, but would like to learn more about the TID and its renewal process, please review the TID Renewal presentation here. You can also watch a recording of our April 20 meeting here.