Thursday, September 28, 2006

'I'm not made of money -- swim toward Oakland.'

The Oakland Tribune stretchhhhhhhes reality with the headline
East Bay on rise as destination for international travelers.
The only evidence for this is a statement from someone at the Berkeley CVB.

The story is well reported and shows why some international visitors like the East Bay, but it does not support the headline.

The numbers you won't find in the Trib's story: passenger tallies at Oakland International declined by 110,000 for the first seven months of this year to 8.4 million, which I am guessing is due to higher fuel prices.

This didn't keep "Oakland/East Bay" hotels from lifting business a bit. Their revenue per available room rose $7 per room per night to $69 through July, according to PKF Consulting. In the same period in San Francisco, revenue per available room rose $12 to $125.

Maybe people are landing at SFO, where international passenger counts are up 170,000 to 4.9 million through July, and venturing into Oakland. But we just don't know, and I have not yet heard of this happening from anyone (as someone who covers both hospitality and Oakland for the Business Times). It seems more likely that international visitors would go to wine country with their spare time, unless they landed directly in Oakland.

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V Smoothe said...

I saw this huge group of German teenagers who seemed to be on some kind of class trip hanging out in City Center once.

And then a few months ago I encountered a group of 7 young female Swedish tourists hanging out at a downtown bar.

And, of course, there was the alpine villager.

Clearly Oakland is a major international travel destination.

September 28, 2006 4:13 PM  
V Smoothe said...

Oh, and on a more serious note re: the airport. Everyone who has visited me in the last two years has flown into San Francisco. In fact, I've only used OAK for one out of my last dozen flights, even though I despise SFO. Unless you're travelling up and down the West Coast, the flight selection out of Oakland is really not very good.

September 28, 2006 4:25 PM  
Ryan said...

I forgot about that JohnnyZ blog post. Awesome.

I wonder if Oakland started getting put in some European guidebook or website?

Or maybe it's the same worldly crowd that has always come.

I definitely agree Oakland attracts global travelers, I just wonder if they're really on the rise. If so, cool, especially if they wear vests and smoke pipes.

September 29, 2006 1:10 PM  

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