CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Another holiday weekend is upon us, and by all accounts, it should be a good one for the tourism industry.
“It looks like it’s going to be a pretty busy weekend,” said Visit Corpus Christi CEO Brett Oetting.
Visit Corpus Christi is the city’s convention and visitors bureau. Based on data shared with the organization, hotels and short-term rentals are virtually booked solid across the city.
“It concerning right now, knowing what’s happened the last couple holidays we’ve had,” Oetting said.
Another busy holiday weekend has many concerned. They remember the crowds from Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, and the COVID-19 surges which followed them.
“The worry is (a repeat of) Memorial Day,” said Philippe Tissot, one of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi researchers mapping the virus locally. “We’ve been doing pretty good as a community again, we really had a terrible summer, but the numbers are going down.”
A busy holiday weekend means packed beaches.
Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales closed county beaches to vehicles before the Fourth of July. That ban recently expired.
“Please be safe at the beach,” Canales said at Thursday’s city/county briefing. “Our beaches are beautiful, but they can also turn into outdoor bars if you’re not careful.”
Labor Day weekend is traditionally a time to celebrate, but this year, Tissot suggests the best idea is to keep gatherings as small as possible.
“If you have a smaller group of people, like within your house, great. Celebrate. Fantastic,” he said. “It’s meeting with other people.”
Officials said people need to follow the traditional guidelines of washing hands, social distancing, and mask wearing.
“Just like that, we can be back in July, and it will take us two-and-a-half to three months again to recover,” Canales said.
Both Canales and Tissot said they'll be watching novel coronavirus numbers over the next couple of weeks to see what effect this weekend has.