Pride Audience 99% Satisfied

The Pride Committee announces the results of its 1999 audience survey and economic impact study which show a dramatic increase in the levels of audience satisfaction.

In 1998, 95% rated the Parade and Celebration as 'satisfactory' to 'excellent'. In 1999, that figure rose to 99%. More interestingly, the number of people who rated the Parade and Celebration as 'good' to 'excellent' rose a full ten percentage points from 83% to 93%.

Commenting, Pride President Calvin Gipson said:

"Clearly, the statistics show that people are having an even better time at the event. Now all we have to do is work on the 1% who still aren't enjoying themselves. It is good to see the community responding to the higher standards, better organization and the positive changes we have made in recent years."

The survey also reaffirmed the enormous impact which the event has on San Francisco's economy. The number of visitors as a percentage of the total audience increased from 34% in 1998 to 48% last year. Each visitor spent an average of 4 days in the city and spent around $500. The direct economic impact has been assessed at $103,000,000. The economic impact of the event in 1998 was reported at $80m.

City Treasurer, Susan Leal, said:

""Pride Weekend is a time of great pride as well as a tremendous boon to our local economy. Many of the shop owners, travel agents and street vendors who reap these benefits are members of the queer community. It is extremely gratifying to see our local and extended community investing its dollars back into itself and this city we call home."

Other highlights of the 1999 survey include:

The average age of the audience was 35, same as last year but this hides a significant increase in under 18s (3.5%)and over 55's (5%)

32.2% were from "ethnic minorities" with a sharp increase in Asian and Pacific Islander attendance from 6% to 9%

50.5% identified as male and 48.5% as female

Only 20% traveled to the event by car, 26.5% walked to the event and 51% took public transportation

65.5% said they would be more inclined to use a company and its products because of their sponsorship of the event, an increase of 3.5% on the previous year

Average personal Income was $41,683

Principal motivation for attendance was:

A Celebration 30.5%
Entertainment 24%
Sense of Community 23.5%
Political Statement 16%
Meeting Friends 6%

On the basis of the 1999 Survey it is possible to calculate that $8m of sales tax was generated, 95,000 hotel nights were booked, $2m in hotel tax was generated (332,500 of that for the City's Grants For The Arts Fund) and $66,500 of tax revenue was generated directly for MUNI.

Commenting, Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington, said:

"The economic impact is only what people actually spend at the event and is based upon a conservative attendance estimate of 500,000. The real figure is probably much higher and does not take into account the hidden economic benefits such as employment opportunities which the event generates."

The survey was designed by SFLGBTPCC and is a modified version of the survey undertaken in 1998. The survey was administered to a random sample of the population present at the Celebration Site on Sunday June 27, 1999. The survey was administered by approximately 30 staff provided by an independent company, Proserv, who were evenly distributed across the site during the hours of 12pm - 4pm. "Official Pride Survey" t-shirts were provided to the interviewers by SFLGBTPCC to identify them to the audience. The survey was predominately self administered and was not incentivized. Persons were approached by the interviewers at random and asked to complete the survey. The sample size was seven hundred and ninety five.

This year's San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration takes place over the weekend of June 24/25. For more information call (415) 864 3733 or check out the website at www.sfpride.org.

ENDS

For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at : (415) 864 0831