Skift Take

San Francisco Travel is going to need a new champion if it's going to get out of its 'doom loop' narrative.

Scott Beck has resigned as San Francisco Travel CEO and president. San Francisco Travel board chair Anna Marie Presutti will serve as interim CEO and president effective immediately, the tourism board announced on Wednesday.

Beck resigned for “personal reasons,” according to San Fransisco Travel. Beck was appointed in October 2023 to replace Joe D’Alessandro, who was in the role for 18 years.

Before coming to San Francisco Travel, Beck was CEO and president of Destination Toronto. Prior to that, he was CEO and president of Visit Salt Lake.

Since the pandemic, San Francisco has struggled to recover its tourism and meeting sectors. Public drug abuse, homelessness, crime and high office vacancy rates in its downtown have deterred visitors. In addition, China—San Francisco’s top tourism source market—has been slow to bounce back. The city isn’t expected to rebound to its pre-pandemic visitor volume until 2026.

“It was sort of this unfortunate cycle. People didn’t return to offices downtown and that made homeless population that was always there just a lot more visible, and that made people less comfortable coming downtown,” said Jan D. Freitag, national director of Hospitality Analytics for CoStar Group.

Scott Beck, former CEO and president of San Francisco Travel

Fighting the public image of a city in decay was a key focus of Beck. “The first and foremost strategy to over-index right now is rebuilding our reputation [and] position as a destination for the meetings and events industry,” Scott Beck told Skift in an interview in February.

San Francisco Travel is searching for a replacement CEO. “Our board will conduct a search for a new CEO who embodies the spirit of San Francisco, is a skillful manager of a great team, and is experienced in attracting conventions, business travelers and tourists to great cities,” Presutti said.

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Tags: business travel, destination marketing, meetings and events, san francisco, tourism

Photo credit: Ragnar Vorel on Unsplash Ragnar Vorel / Unsplash

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