SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off to summer, but Santa Barbara’s tourism rebound has already officially begun.
Hotels are filling up again for the holiday weekend and through most of the summer, especially on weekends, as pandemic concerns continue to wane in California and the United States.
“It’s night and day,” Tom Patton, general manager and partner at Ramada by Wyndham Santa Barbara, said of the difference between January and now. “Things are just in a much different position today than they were even a few months ago.”
Hotels near the waterfront are some of the biggest winners so far. Some managers say their room rates are already back to pre-pandemic levels, and some believe pent-up travel demand will make this summer even busier for bookings than 2019.
Patton points out that while hotels across the South Coast are in a much better position now, beachside hotels likely have an even bigger advantage at the…