San Diego CVB's 1998 visitor report April 06, 1999 Share 1 -- SAN DIEGO -- The volume of overnight visitors to the San Diego area last year rose only marginally, to slightly more than 14.5 million, according to figures compiled by the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The statistics showed that the occupancy rate stayed relatively flat at about 72%. The good news for the local economy, however, is that the average daily room rate rose to just over $97, up 13% compared with the previous year.Combined, 1998 visitors spent some $4.7 billion on goods and services while in San Diego and its environs. The number of out-of-towners sampling local theme parks and attractions climbed by more than 4% to 10.1 million.The attractions surveyed included Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Old Town State Park, the Cabrillo National Monument and Mission Bay. Among the more spectacular gainers, as reflected in the CVB's research results, was the landmark San Diego Convention Center, with its billowing sails architecture and waterfront setting.In all, 428,000 delegates attended some 60 different conventions and trade shows at the center, a gain of better than 47% over 1997.