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Local benefits expected this holiday season

San Diego County appears to have made the “nice list” this holiday season. Barring last-minute misbehavior, the region’s economy can expect several significant gifts this December, according to a SANDAG look at projected activity.

SANDAG chief economist Ray Major broke down national and regional statistics to highlight some of the key factors that will impact San Diego County during the holidays. Some interesting projections include:

Holiday Spending in San Diego County

$5.3 billion — total dollars to be dedicated to retail and food service spending in December

$1,600 — average amount each resident will spend on food and retail purchases in December

$900 — average amount adults will spend on holiday gifts

Nearly 20 percent — expected spending increase by residents in December on retail and food services compared to other months of the year

Holiday Jobs

30,000 — number of seasonal jobs that will be supported by the holiday season in San Diego County

$32 million — total salaries to be earned by these seasonal workers during the holidays

Holiday Travel

91 — percentage of visitors who will come to San Diego County by car in December

378,000 — additional cars that will travel to San Diego County in December

104 million — total number of additional miles expected to be logged by car visitors while traveling to the region in December (4,200 trips around the world)

Holiday Tourism*

1.1 million — number of additional visitors expected in the San Diego region during the month of December (enough to fill Qualcomm Stadium 16 times)

730,000 — number of additional visitors (of the 1.1 million mentioned above) who will come from Mexico to shop and visit friends and family in December

* (compared to non-peak months)

For decades, SANDAG has served as the region’s clearinghouse for information and data. A key goal of the agency is to publish timely, relevant information that can inform the public while providing context on complex issues facing the region.

SANDAG reports and analyses typically include data on issues such as economics and public finance; engineering, planning and construction; long range transportation plans and challenges; smart development and housing; regional shifts in demographics; and crime trends and other criminal justice topics.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or