Bay Watch: Leisure, Hospitality Industry Slow to Recover

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The Bay Area’s tourism industry has experienced one of the slowest recoveries in the nation. Between shutdowns during the first half of the pandemic, and the fundamental shift to remote work that followed, the region’s tourism and hospitality industry has struggled to stay afloat. In fact, the City of San Francisco’s tourism bureau says the industry is not expected to make a full recovery until 2025.

Leisure and hospitality jobs in the Bay Area are still down 10.3% as of December 2022. These jobs include workers in accommodation (hotels, lodging), food services (restaurants, bars), arts, entertainment, and recreation. While other sectors like information and professional and businesses services, which include the majority of office workers (tech, legal services, R&D etc.) have actually exceeded their pre-pandemic employment numbers, overall employment is still down 1% largely due to the lagging recovery in leisure and hospitality. 

This week’s Bay Watch analysis explores the Bay Area’s leisure, hospitality, and tourism industries and what recovery might look like going forward.

Read Bay Watch analysis on leisure and hospitality recovery>>  

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