SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (KVEO) – Restrictions were lifted right before spring break, but many students still did not make it down to South Padre Island. A local tourist agency is feeling the absence of those students.
Every spring break, college students plan their trip down to South Padre Island, and there to help many of them make the arrangements is Inertia Tours.
Operating Director for the travel agency, Chad Hart, says they handle all the accommodations and activities for Greek groups traveling to SPI, and they are the only ones to be doing so.
“We put it together as one package so when the college student comes down, they don’t have to organize any of this stuff, it’s kind of a preset schedule,” said Hart.
Hart has been in the business since 2002, and says normally the groups they accommodate are around 40 people. This year, the groups are as small as six people.
“Somewhere between 80-85 colleges in the Midwest canceled their college spring break week,” said Hart. “The schools were trying to limit travel with COVID, and now that a lot of the restrictions have fell off, we didn’t see an up uptick in business from it because schools aren’t changing their schedules last minute.”
Hart adds while there are still students at SPI, the number is significantly down from previous years. Numbers at events are about half of what they normally are.
Some who came down this year used travel credits provided by the agency after the island shut down last year.
While the turn is lower than before, Hart feels the students will be back when they can.
“We want to just welcome everybody of all ages, all demographics, we want you to come down to South Padre Island and enjoy our beach and we’re a tourist destination, this is what we do for a living,” said Hart.