Size may not matter in every day life ???? but when it comes to travel, there’s no denying the attraction of a large cruise ship, a jumbo plane and an enormous city.

Seriously, just look at how plane enthusiasts fall all over a new A380 or cruisers flock towards Royal Caribbean’s ginormous vessels.

So when a city competing with the likes of the Big Apple, Dallas and even Cancun, is labelled by an important tourist market as ‘small’, its tourism leaders are quick to correct the masses.

In a Q&A with KarryOn, San Diego Tourism Authority’s Travel Trade Development Manager, Riki Suzuki, said the Californian city is surprisingly big.

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He said Australians tend to underestimate San Diego, which is actually the second largest city in the Golden State and the eighth largest nation-wide.

San Diego is so vast, it’s bigger than San Francisco and it has over 100 distinct neighbourhoods.

“The great thing for visitors is that we are a large city but with a small city feel.”

Riki Suzuki, San Diego Tourism Authority Travel Trade Development Manager


Despite the sizeable misconception, the US city attracts nearly 98,000 Aussies every year, a figure the tourist board’s Senior Director of International Marketing, Philip Hannes, hopes to grow to 100,000 in the next two years.

Hannes said this growth target will be achieved through increased air lift across the trans-Pacific along with promotional activities in the market and educational tools for Travel Agents such as famils and the recently introduced San Diego specialist program on the Authority’s website.

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“Our plan is to engage more of our partners/members to work with us to have more presence in the Australian market,” he said. “Once we educate and have our members understand the market potential and the results from this market.”

Aside from size, Hannes said Aussies will also enjoy San Diego’s year-round sunny weather, never-ending list of outdoor activities, shopping, dining and pop culture conventions.

Agents can earn their San Diego Specialist Certification easily, by completing a 25 multiple choice question interactive quiz. Click here for more information.

READ: 30 under 30 experiences in San Diego

READ: What to do, eat & drink in sunny San Diego in 24 hours

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