SAN ANTONIO – The tourism and hospitality industries in San Antonio have seen some of the biggest economic impacts from the pandemic, and that extends to the transportation sector.
But news of the NCAA choosing to hold not just the Women’s Final Four in San Antonio, but also the entire NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament has those companies more optimistic about the year ahead.
It comes after a year to forget for many of the companies.
City Sightseeing San Antonio owner David Strange said his company had to shut down for three months last year, having a major impact on business.
“We’re gradually starting to pick up, and a lot of the attractions downtown will tell you the same thing,” Strange said. “We’ve all got a long way to go, but gradually the graph is heading in the right direction.”
The tournament promises to bring thousands of people to the region, beginning March 21 through April 4.
“We have been working on transportation planning with the NCAA for months and we anticipate that the tournament will have a significant positive impact on our business,” said John Walker, President and CEO of Star Shuttle, which operates Gray Line tour in San Antonio.
It’s not just tourist demand that dropped, people in the community also curtailed their travel, according to John Bouloubasis, President & CEO of Texas Taxi.
“The entire industry is glad to see that the NCAA has elected San Antonio to be the main host for the women’s tournament,” he said. “This will definitely help all of the businesses in the area – everyone is struggling.”
He said the company has pivoted to more on-demand services, including transportation for medical trips.
The transportation companies we spoke with are all stressing safety protocols, and new federal rules mandate masks on all forms of public transportation.
Read more on our traffic page.