Could San Francisco’s cold summers be an attraction for tourists?

Could San Francisco’s cold summers be an attraction for tourists?

Could San Francisco’s cold summers be an attraction for tourists?

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San Francisco’s famous cold summers have long shocked visitors, made sweatshirts a staple in gift shops year-round, and turned its fog into a social media star.

Now, as California and the western United States face increasingly scorching summer weather, the city’s tourism leaders want to turn San Francisco’s cold reputation into an advantage.

The New York Times recently reported that tourism officials are hoping the city’s cool summer weather will attract potential visitors looking to beat the heat.

“San Francisco has always been a great vacation in the summer and as the rest of the world begins to deal with the effects of climate change, I think it gets even more compelling,” Joe D’Alessandro, chief executive of the San Francisco Travel Association, told Guardian. “Just like in winter, people in colder climates go to desert locations to warm up, [in the summer] they can come to a place with natural air conditioning like San Francisco ”.

It’s a contrast that is highlighted this week as much of California prepares for another severe heatwave that will bring temperatures as high as 115F. In San Francisco, meanwhile, the temperature is expected to approach relatively mild 80F on Monday. But it is hot for the city where the September high average is around 70F.

Climate-related tourism would be welcome in a city still recovering from the pandemic: travelers come from the United States and Europe, but the number of visitors from Asia has not yet returned to pre-Covid level, says D’Alessandro . US gun violence and fears of crime in the city haven’t helped, although FBI data showed violent crime in San Francisco is at its lowest level in decades.

Related: A brutal heatwave swept into the western United States, raising health concerns

“San Francisco has some of the lowest violent crime rates in the country. We are a very safe city, but the news of violent crime doesn’t make it seem like a welcoming place, ”D’Alessandro said.

While the city may remain a respite as the American west gets warmer, it will not be immune from the impacts of the climate crisis. By 2100, sea levels are projected to rise two to five feet in San Francisco Bay. California is grappling with a severe drought that has drained reservoirs and threatened hydroelectric power generation. Experts say climate change has already begun to lessen the city’s famous fog.

San Francisco is expected to warm up by 2-7F by 2100, while other US metropolises will face hikes of up to 10 degrees. San Francisco has already warmed by around 2F since 1970, according to the researchers.

However, it has long attracted travelers from the warm interior of the state.

D’Alessandro, whose grandparents immigrated to the city in 1910, grew up coming to San Francisco to escape the heat. “When there was 105F in Sacramento for 10 days straight, I used to come to San Francisco.”

The tourism board plans to use that idea in its marketing in areas facing extreme heat, inviting residents of those cities to cool off in San Francisco. “Frankly, there aren’t many cities like this where you have to put a jacket on in August.”

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