Enjoying the cool ocean breeze and the white sand beaches of La Jolla, you will meet the Zedina family on vacation from Las Vegas.
“This is our first big vacation since July 2020,” said Latashia Zedina.
Over the past week, many families, such as Zedina, have filled the beaches and local attractions.
“Just be among the people, [feels nice,]Zedina said. “I have been going to seclusion for a long time. The pandemic has deprived us of that.”
Tourists like Zedina brought much-needed business to the city over the holiday weekend.
“[We had a ] a very strong Memorial Day weekend,” said Lydia Bartell, vice president of Bartell Hotels. “I would say that in terms of income, the same as before the pandemic.”
Bartell says the company has eight hotels in San Diego and almost all of their hotels were sold out on Saturday and very busy on Sunday.
“People don’t seem to be intimidated by high gas prices,” Bartell said. “There have been a few more cases of COVID-19, but we haven’t seen it impact our business. We are very optimistic about a great summer.”
The same applies to other hotels throughout the country.
Kerry Kapich, COO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, says average occupancy rates for San Diego hotels have been in the 75% range in recent weeks, very close to the pre-pandemic average of 77%.
“It definitely got a lot better,” Kapic said. “We are very pleased that the situation is improving.”
Two years of unsatisfied demand encourage people to hit the road.
“It’s relaxing, being from Las Vegas, feeling the humidity in the air, being by the water, it was really nice,” Zedina said.
This summer, families are determined to come back and catch up on two years of pandemic life.
The San Diego Convention Center is expected to see twice as many visitors this year as last year, with visitors from other cities spending at least $200 million.