Influx of tourists expected Fourth of July weekend

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 09:30:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego hotels, campgrounds and attractions are bracing for an influx of tourists for Fourth of July weekend. It's a big boost for the region's rebounding economy, but it also brings an additional challenge.

The American flag above Ralf Heck's R.V. has flown at Campland on the Bay for the last ten Fourth of July weekends.

That includes 2020, when coronavirus couldn't stop his family tradition. At the time, Campland was only half full, as tourism suffered in the midst of the pandemic.

"You were a little more secluded to your area, when you left you had to have a mask, which is not a big deal," Heck said.

Things were a lot different at Campland during Fourth of July weekend in 2020. Activities and live entertainment were canceled, there was no outdoor dining, and the basketball court was roped off.

This year, Campland should feel back to normal. General Manager Ahmed Ait-Lahsen says all 460 spaces are reserved for the weekend. Around San Diego, hotels are anticipating a capacity weekend with social distancing restrictions lifted and pent up demand to get out.

The Auto Club of Southern California says San Diego is the number two travel destination for the Southern Californians. It estimates 3.3 million people will be traveling over the weekend, a 46 percent increase from 2020.

"I am sure that people really have not forgotten about Covid and they're not going to,"Ait-Lahsen said. "It's a slow process but people are going to do everything they can to enjoy themselves, and hopefully they're going to try to forget that it ever happened, but we need to be cautious because the Delta variant is still around."

Still, staffing remains a challenge at the campground and at area hotels.

Elvin Lai, who owns the Ocean Park Inn in Pacific Beach, said he's keeping some rooms vacant because he doesn't have enough workers to handle full capacity.