SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- With dry and warm weather on the Central Coast, thousands are traveling for the President's Day weekend, and others are planning for the months ahead.
Leaders in the tourism industry nationwide are reporting an increase in hotel reservations, flight bookings and the return of cruise ship travel.
This past weekend, traffic on Highway 101 through Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo was steady. Many people in RV's were side by side with trucks full of camping gear, and others towing jet skis and boats.
Hotels had 'No Vacancy' signs throughout the West Beach area on the waterfront.
When the COVID-19 surge hit in late December and early January, hotel industry experts predicted the booked reservations would be changed for spring or early summer. That is starting to happen as the rules are easing up and the indoor mask mandate is not as strict.
Masks are still required for mass transit including bus trips, planes, and trains.
The upsurge in travel is expected to bring a sweeping return to the hospitality industry which was among the hardest hit during the height of the pandemic.