MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — In 2015, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce launched a tourism initiative called “Grand Strand 2020.”
It is a plan designed to bring in over 20 million tourists to the Grand Strand each year. In 2017, hospitality revenue is up 5 percent, right above $30 million.
Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Grand Strand is bringing in nearly 18 million tourists a year, which is great for city revenue.
Following the shooting that took place along Ocean Boulevard back in June, some thought tourism revenue would take a major hit, but that was not the case.
Instead, tourism revenue for the months of June and August rose. The month of July was down 1 percent, but varies each year being one of the busiest months for the Grand Strand.
Dean said despite the incident that took place, tourists continue to come to the Grand Strand, including families coming for the first time each year.
“The fact of visitors who come here have a great experience, they go back and talk about that with their friends and family,” said Dean
Also on the rise is the number of those flying to Myrtle Beach, which is up 14 percent.
“For many years, the airport was a small part of the tourism industry, but in recent years there has been a very focused and targeted effort to expand air service not only in the summer, but the spring and fall as well,” Dean said.
The airport alone is on pace to bring in nearly 1 million tourists to the Grand Strand in just one year.
“Those 1 million people flying in are making a huge economic impact throughout the Grand Strand,” said Dean.
Currently, Horry County is drawing in nearly 18 million tourist a year and the chamber of commerce continues to advertise the Grand Strand as a year-round family destination.
The goal is to bring in 20 million tourist every year by the end of 2020.
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