Hotel industry cashes in on spring break tourism

More tourists expected this week


SAN ANTONIO – It was a quiet Monday morning at the Omni La Mansion Del Rio, following a week of spring break chaos. Many area hotels were completely sold out last week.

Although there are no official numbers yet, experts believe Spring Break has been a big success for the tourism industry.

"This is absolutely one of the busiest weeks of the year," said Rusty Wallace, San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association president. "The restaurants have been packed, the River Walk has been packed and it's just a great business week."

Wallace said a strengthening economy helps. He also said the rising cost of gas doesn't hurt tourism in San Antonio. 

According to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, tourism also held strong here when gas prices spiked in 2008.

"I think it probably takes those people who might otherwise drive to Florida or Colorado or somewhere and have them stay close to home in Texas. It's great for us," he said.

Although spring break is pretty much over in this neck of the woods, tourists from  areas with a later spring break are now trickling in

Mel Trissel, his wife and 4-year-old daughter, arrived in San Antonio over the weekend. He said it was a quick, easy trip for his family.

"It was a short flight away from Oklahoma City. We spent essentially a long weekend down here and so just a little getaway for spring break," he said.

This weekend, the Women's NCAA Championship will bring even more visitors. 

Wallace said he expects it to build into another busy week for tourism in the river city.