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Members of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber & CVB pose with a proclamation from the City of Myrtle Beach declaring May 19-25 Travel and Tourism Week in Myrtle Beach.
May 17, 2024

Tourism’s Positive Impact on Local Community Celebrated During National Travel & Tourism Week May 19-25

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) join tourism destinations from across the state and country on May 19-25 to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) to recognize the essential impact travel has on the livelihoods of South Carolina residents.

Noted within Myrtle Beach Area CVB’s 2023 Annual Report, released in May, are key performance indicators showcasing the Grand Strand’s strength as a travel destination, including:

  • 17.6 million total visitors to the area, two-thirds of whom are repeat visitors
  • $11.95 billion in total direct visitor spending and impact, $174 million attributed to sports tourism
  • $16.4 billion in gross retail sales in Horry County
  • 3.36 million in total passengers at Myrtle Beach International Airport
  • 21 percent uptick in spending by travelers from outside the U.S. to the tune of $38.9 million
  • $32 million generated from accommodations tax, $45.7 million from tourism development fee and $58.5 million from hospitality tax
  • $167 in direct visitor spending and an additional $22 in local tax revenue generated for every dollar invested in tourism advertising

According to the CVB, projections for travel demand in the Myrtle Beach area for summer 2024 are expected to remain above pre-pandemic levels as they did in 2023. The forecast is supported by national indicators such as TripAdvisor’s 2024 Summer Travel Index, which reveals that 95 percent of respondents in the U.S. are planning to travel as much (51 percent) or more (44 percent) than last summer.

The index, released May 14, also ranked top domestic summer travel destinations for American travelers, placing Myrtle Beach at No. 2 behind Las Vegas. Rounding out the top 10 are Orlando, Honolulu, New York City, Chicago, Key West, Ocean City, San Diego and Boston.

Highlighting the crucial role of travel in Myrtle Beach, the City Council declared May 19-25 as Travel and Tourism Week in Myrtle Beach.

“The travel and hospitality industry generates millions in tax revenue annually, providing property tax breaks for our full-time residents while supporting jobs and essential city services like emergency response, public services and education,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune.

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber and CVB President and CEO Karen Riordan accepted the proclamation and noted the significance of the week.

“Days after hosting our first-ever PGA TOUR event, it seems only fitting that we give credence to the power of travel,” Riordan said. “This week is a time to thank the visitors who substantially contribute to our local and state economies as well as honor our community for welcoming these guests. Without a doubt, tourism is the Grand Strand’s economic lifeblood and our livelihoods.”

On May 20, Riordan and other tourism leaders from across the state will travel to Columbia, S.C., as Gov. Henry McMaster declares Travel and Tourism Week in South Carolina.

Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT), emphasized, “Travel and tourism is a powerful driver of economic progress across the entire Palmetto State. The growing popularity of our beautiful Grand Strand showcases just how our state shines across the globe as a top destination for leisure travel, meetings and conventions, and sports tourism.”

In addition, SCPRT reports that tourism-related tax collections reduce the annual tax burden for every South Carolina resident by nearly $1,000.

As a way to take advantage of the tourism attributes across the Grand Strand, the Myrtle Beach Area CVB is encouraging Horry and Georgetown County residents to make the most of special offers and discounts provided to them by local attractions, restaurants and retail shops. A list of special savings for local residents can be found at VisitMyrtleBeach.com/locals.

Additional savings opportunities and destination information can be found within printed copies of the Official Visitors Guide to Myrtle Beach as well as other promotional brochures available at the Myrtle Beach Area Visitors Center at 1200 N. Oak St. in Myrtle Beach.