LOS ANGELES — The all-California World Series is expected to give a big boost to tourism even beyond the borders of San Francisco and Anaheim.
Visitor bureaus in the two host cities are already experiencing an increase in inquiries and expect thousands of visitors to occupy hotels and visit restaurants and shops, especially if the series goes for the full seven games.
The benefits will likely extend beyond the next two weeks as the rest of the nation sees what amount to free ads for the two cities and the state.
California tourism officials plan to run a popular television ad campaign during the games featuring celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood urging folks to “find yourself here.” Look for a split-second cameo by Michael Eisner, chief executive of The Walt Disney Co., which owns the Anaheim Angels.
The Angels face the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the series Saturday.
The Anaheim Hilton is hoping to attract guests by taking ads in the San Francisco Chronicle touting special room rates. Edd Karlan, director of sales and marketing for the hotel, says he expects the games to increase his business by 10 percent.
“We’re going to do well in Anaheim because our games are all weekend games,” he said. “And yes, we’re hoping to go the full six and seven games. A long, drawn-out series will be much better for us.”
San Francisco, suffering a tourism slump and a sluggish economy, is hoping the exposure from the World Series will boost its chances to host the 2012 Olympics.
“We got the World Series, which will in turn help us get the Olympics,” said Lee Blitch, president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “Everything in between is simply butter.”
One factor favoring tourism is that World Series broadcasts tend to focus more on tourist information and city vistas than other sporting events.