March Madness is just one of the events over the next few weeks sparking a tourism boom in San Antonio. This is a welcome sight for local businesses.
Visit San Antonio said it is too early to have exact numbers for this March. But they said it is looking good.
Richard Oliver, with Visit San Antonio, said they’re basing this off a bustling downtown and big name events.
“I think we will get back to pre-pandemic levels certainly on the leisure travel,” he said.
The streets of San Antonio are alive.
“It is encouraging,” Oliver said. I mean our partners have been through a complicated time." Oliver said before the pandemic, San Antonio typically welcomed 41 million visitors a year.
“You want to go to a place that treats you like family, and that has been San Antonio,” he said.
Oliver said Spring Break looked good for the city. The NCAA Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games expected to bring in $10 million and thousands of visitors. Fiesta also starts next week. It typically generates $340 million. The Valero Texas Open is also starting around the same time.
“All these different things converging in San Antonio, and they all have impact,” he said.
For business travel, that is different. Oliver said it is too early to say if it will bounce back as strong. However, the overall future forecast looks bright.
“We are really looking at the summer with a finger on the pulse and a finger in the air trying to gauge everything,” he said. "We are pretty confident with everything on what is happening."
Oliver said in March 2020, there was a 65% hotel occupancy. He said it built up through the summer to about 75%. They expect this summer to be even bigger.