SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Holy Week, or Semana Santa, officially started and visitors from many parts of Mexico are making their way to South Padre Island to celebrate.

Teresa Rodriguez, the senior marketing and communications manager for the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, said with border crossing and COVID-19 restrictions last year, the turnout for the holiday was not high.

“The border crossing was closed due to the COVID-19 now, they’re open and they’re ready to come,” she said.

She said she visited Monterrey last week to personally invite people from Northern Mexico to celebrate on South Padre Island.

“We are very excited to see people already coming to the island. Our Mexican Nationals are coming here as you know. Semana Santa is one of the highest vacation times of the year,” Rodriguez said.

The Holy Week holiday is one of the best times for local businesses like hotels, restaurants, and island activities.

“Compared to last year, right now we’re at about 85% to 90% almost sold, and compared to last year it’s a big difference,” said Jeffery Martinez, the customer service manager for Peninsula Island Resort & Spa.

He said they are welcoming guests of all ages from different parts of Mexico.

“In Semana Santa, we usually see kind of a similar spring break, we like to call it the Monterrey Spring Break, but you also see your families, you see a lot of families that come down,” he said,

Island businesses like Paradise Fun Rentals are getting ready and have seen an increase in business over the past weekend, according to Alondra Espinoza, the general manager at Paradise Fun Rentals.

“I have shops and we own around 180 golf carts, so we have to be moving carts from one store to the other one,” said Espinoza.

She explained that the weather caused this year’s Spring Break to be a slower season for them, but she is expecting a great Holy Week.

“It’s getting here, Semana Santa I know it’s going to be a nice week,” she said.

For more information on things to do on South Padre Island during Holy Week, you can visit the South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau website.