San Francisco works to clean up to attract more tourists

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Tourism is big business in San Francisco, attracting more than 25 million visitors a year from around the globe. It's those travelers who generate over $9 billion dollars in spending each year. Which is why San Francisco Travel's president and CEO Joe D'Alessandro said earlier this year, change needs to happen when it comes to dirty streets, litter and the amount of human waste on the streets.

"We are losing business. We have groups who say they can't come to the city," he said,

It's those exact things that made Hadia Aleen from Canada uneasy about their visit.

VIDEO: Is San Francisco a safe city?
EMBED More News Videos

What started out as a tweet from a dissatisfied visitor to San Francisco has now gone viral, turning into a full-fledged public relations problem for the city.

"I've seen a lot of homeless individuals. A lot of cops and a very scary situation coming into the city."

San Francisco tourism is big business, generating more than $9 billion in spending each year. Which is why lawmakers have been quick to act.

"I think this is very encouraging, Mark Farrell included a number of things in his budget" said D'Alessandro at Thursday's luncheon.

RELATED; Survey asks what San Franciscans enjoy most about their city

Mayor Elect London Breed, in attendance at the luncheon, emphasized her desire to find solutions and has this message for visitors.

"I would to say to the tourists, please be patient with us. We have work to do. It's not going to happen overnight but we are committed to making San Francisco a cleaner, safer place so that when they come here they have an incredible experience."

It's encouraging news for Hadia, who says she'll give our city a second shot.

"I do want to come back, maybe two years from now, just to see how things roll down," she said.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.