Frequently Asked Questions

Tourism is the largest industry sector in the Grand Strand and is critical to the economies of the 14 communities in the Myrtle Beach area. Often though, there are questions about how the impact of our tourism economy is felt by those throughout the Grand Strand. Here are some answers to common questions about how tourism works for you:

How does tourism enhance The Grand Strand’s quality of life?

Tourism makes our region an attractive place to live, work and play. Examples include the convenience of Myrtle Beach International Airport, cultural arts and sports venues, and shopping, dining and entertainment experiences from the most recognized brands in the world. Residents also have access to a large employer base, jobs that accommodate a wide spectrum of education and experience levels, professional growth opportunities, and more money in state and local tax coffers.  Tourism also supports local businesses, fosters entrepreneurship and new business ventures. Small business owners make up a large part of our local economy many of which rely on the conventions and tourists that visit our destination. From florists to barbers, and museums to local-owned restaurants, we all benefit!

What is Visit Myrtle Beach’s Role in Supporting the Grand Strand’s Economic Health?

Visit Myrtle Beach is the official Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Grand Strand. We brand, market and sell the area globally as a premier leisure, convention and business destination.

How does tourism affect infrastructure and essential services?

The positive impact of tourism on infrastructure and public services benefits everyone – residents, tourists and businesses. Tourists use much of the same infrastructure and services that residents use, including roads, airports, police/fire protection, medical services, etc., and a growing tourism industry requires adequate investment and maintenance of our local infrastructure and public services. 

Tourism dollars help the area expand these investments, including those for publicly owned facilities like the Myrtle Beach Convention Center or the Myrtle Beach International Airport. As a result, tourism helps pay for infrastructure and services that everyone benefits from.

What kinds of jobs does tourism generate?

Most people associate tourism with hourly jobs in the service sector, and there’s no doubt that tourism is accountable for 80,000+ jobs locally. What’s often overlooked are the management jobs that are a part of the tourism industry. We see desk clerks and housekeepers, but don’t notice the managers, supervisors, accountants and marketers that work in a hotel or resort. We see waiters, bartenders and cooks but don’t notice the team of managers, chefs, accountants and supervisors that run a restaurant. We see flight attendants and counter attendants but don’t notice the pilots, auditors, engineers and other professionals that run airlines. While tourism does create hourly jobs, it also supports and sustains an overlooked corps of managers and other professionals that play an integral role.

How does tourism benefit our community?

A recent tourism report by DK Shifflet estimates tourism accounts for a $11 billion direct spending. Coastal Carolina University estimates tourism accounts for $2.2 billion in labor impact, and more than 80,000 jobs throughout our local community. The money invested from tourism circulates throughout our local economy several times over, providing an ongoing economic impact.

Why do we have to promote tourism? Wouldn't people come anyway?

There’s no doubt the Grand Strand is fortunate to be home to exceptional amenities and attractions, most notably our beaches. And while most visitors who choose to vacation here rank the beach as the most popular draw, research confirms that the non-beach amenities — restaurants, attractions, golf courses, etc. — are what differentiates our destination and make it so popular. To build the appeal of the destination and effectively compete for visitors and tourism spending in our area, the non-beach amenities must be effectively marketed. Visitors who have never been to the Grand Strand are often surprised to learn just how much the area offers and securing a visit to our area instead of our competitor destinations is a priority for our marketing program.

How does tourism benefit local businesses that aren't for tourists?

Many businesses throughout the Grand Strand, such as retail stores and entertainment venues, enjoy a balance of customers that include both tourists and residents. Ultimately, these tourism-dependent businesses need other services, such as plumbers and bankers, which are supported, in part, by tourist dollars.

What do I get for my money as a resident of the Grand Strand?

Tourism is a huge value-add for residents of the City of Myrtle Beach due to a tax credit owner-occupied residents receive through the City of Myrtle Beach Tourism Development Fee – or TDF. For the current 2022-23 fiscal year, the TDF provides a 67.5 percent credit toward city property taxes. For a home with an assessed value of $250,000, that’s a savings of $600 per year. City of Myrtle Beach property owners can calculate their potential savings here.