SF Chinatown's leaders expect tourism boost during APEC summit despite tight security

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Saturday, October 21, 2023
APEC summit to boost SF Chinatown tourism despite tight security
San Francisco Chinatown's leaders are expecting a tourism boost for the upcoming APEC summit despite tight security.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Chinatown's community leaders met with SFMTA Friday to discuss the numerous road closures and transit detours ahead of APEC. Some in Chinatown expressed concerns the detours would limit tourism to the area, but SFMTA vowed this week to still make access to Chinatown as easy as possible.

"We will be able to run high frequency shuttle trains between Union Square, Market Street station and Chinatown," said Jeffrey Tumlin, the Executive Director of SFMTA. "This is very important to make sure we maintain strong connectivity to Chinatown."

The T Muni line that runs from the ballpark to Chinatown will be closed during APEC and replaced with the shuttle busses Tumlin mentioned. The Chinatown Merchants association says people need to research the changes prior to APEC.

MORE: How intense APEC Summit security will impact SF roads, public transportation, and tourism

"All the regular routes in that area are going to be rerouted," said Eva Lee, a chairperson with the merchants association. "There is a lot of information available. People should plan ahead to know the changes."

Despite the changes, Lee is not envisioning any drop off in tourism. Between 30,000-50,000 people are expected in San Francisco during APEC. She says many of those people will visit other parts of the city.

"There gonna have a cable car at Moscone Center where people can take pictures, so there that can remind them to go visit the rest of the city," she said.

MORE: Will SF be able to rehabilitate its image during next month's APEC summit? Here's what experts say

SFMTA says they plan to send out alerts in different ways to tell people about the route changes. They will send out text messages, emails and public notices. Lee says it is time for San Francisco to properly welcome the world.

"We are probably one of the most beautiful cities in the world," Lee said. "We should all take that to heart, and this is our time."

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