Tourism Works For The Communities of the Myrtle Beach Area

Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach, Aynor, Carolina Forest, Conway, Garden City Beach, Litchfield Beach, Little River, Loris, Murrells Inlet, North Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Socastee, Surfside Beach

Tourism Works For The Communities of the Myrtle Beach Area

Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach, Aynor, Carolina Forest, Conway, Garden City Beach, Litchfield Beach, Little River, Loris, Murrells Inlet, North Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Socastee, Surfside Beach

Tourism Works For The Communities of the Myrtle Beach Area

Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach, Aynor, Carolina Forest, Conway, Garden City Beach, Litchfield Beach, Little River, Loris, Murrells Inlet, North Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Socastee, Surfside Beach

Tourism is the economic lifeblood of the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area providing more than $10 billion in economic impact throughout the 14 communities along the Grand Strand. While tourism dramatically declined in most areas of the country during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Myrtle Beach area remained resilient.

Dependent on a robust tourism industry, local hospitality businesses turn to the Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Visit Myrtle Beach to promote The Beach to leisure travelers, groups, meetings, conferences and trade shows, and sporting events.

The Chamber and CVB is a nonprofit 501c 6 organization. The CVB’s efforts are critical to support our region’s economy, businesses and employees working in the community, as well as residents that call the Grand Strand home.

Recognized with U.S. Travel Association’s Destiny award in 2021, the CVB used innovative marketing techniques to keep The Beach top-of-mind despite travel declines. New data from the S.C. Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Tourism shows that states like S.C. that were willing to invest marketing dollars sooner recovered quicker.

Promoting The Beach paid off in 2021 with strong visitor spending, tax revenues and economic impact. 2022 is also shaping up to be another solid year. In turn, local employers are reinvesting back into their businesses more than ever.

Tax revenues help fund infrastructure, education, community services, public safety and more. Property taxes are able to remain low, while job opportunities and quality of life for citizens are enhanced.

Tourism accounts for over 80,000+ jobs and $11.1 BILLION IN VISITOR SPENDING to the Myrtle Beach area.

Myrtle Beach

Economic Impact of Tourism

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. Visitors support businesses, jobs and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

The research presented here is updated regularly. As the Grand Strand, our nation and the world emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, MBACVB is committed to driving the region’s economic recovery through tourism.

Local

Tourism continues to foster significant economic benefit for the Myrtle Beach area. Tourism Works For Us uses a multitude of sources and independent reports to compile an overview of the impact of tourism of the entire Grand Strand region, including 14 communities within Horry and Georgetown Counties. While some data highlights specific areas of the Grand Strand, we strive to provide a broad perspective of how tourism impacts the entire region Here’s a look at some of the most recent stats:

  • According to the most recent industry research, 20.6 million visitors spent $11.1 billion in the Myrtle Beach area in 2019. (source: DK Shifflet’s Visitor Volume Study).
  • The $11.1 billion in visitor spending in 2019 was up from $7.8 billion in 2012 — a 42 percent increase in seven years. (source: DK Shifflet’s Visitor Volume Study). 
  • Coastal Carolina University (CCU) estimates tourism accounts for $2.2 billion in labor impact supporting more than 80,000 jobs — both direct and indirect tourism jobs — throughout the Grand Strand.
  • CCU economists estimate that 80 percent of local tourism jobs are year-round, full-time.
  • Horry County Hospitality Fee generated approximately $35.7 million in tax collections in 2021 and $9.7 million in 2020. (source: Horry County Government).
  • Horry County generated more than $31.7 million in accommodations taxes in 2021 (approximately 30% of the state’s total accommodations tax collections), and $16.8 million in 2020. (source: S.C. Department of Revenue).
  • Visit Myrtle Beach marketing programs influenced $862 million in visitor spending in 2019. (source: Tourism Economics’ Visit Myrtle Beach Impact Study).
  • The visitor spending influenced by Visit Myrtle Beach generated $145 million in state and local tax revenue in 2019 and supported $1.0 billion in business sales. (source: Tourism Economics’ Visit Myrtle Beach Impact Study).

Tourism Works For Us uses a multitude of sources and independent reports to compile a broad view of the impact of tourism across the entire Grand Strand area. For more insight, check out these resources:

Kayaking on the Intracoastal, Myrtle Beach, SC
Kids at playground in Market Common

State

A recent study prepared for the South Carolina Parks Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) agency by the United States Travel Association revealed that domestic travel accounted for a direct economic impact of more than $15.1 billion and directly supported 133,500 jobs in 2019. Key findings from that study include:

  • Domestic travel-supported employees in South Carolina earned close to $2.9 billion in payroll income during 2019. This represented a 6.1 percent increase from 2018.
  • In 2019, every $113,417 spent by domestic travelers in South Carolina supported one job.
  • Domestic traveler spending in South Carolina directly generated $2.2 billion in tax revenue for federal, state, and local governments in 2019, up 5.8 percent from 2018.
  • Horry County received $4.8 billion in domestic travel expenditures to lead all of South Carolina’s 46 counties.
  • Seventeen of South Carolina’s 46 counties received over $100 million in domestic travel expenditures in 2019.
  • Sixteen counties in South Carolina indicated one thousand or more jobs were directly supported by domestic travelers during 2019.
Family running on the beach in Myrtle Beach, SC

National

National tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, employing millions worldwide. The United States Travel Association (USTA) estimates that in 2019 domestic and international leisure and business travelers accounted for $2.6 trillion in economic output and supported more than 15.8 million American jobs. One out of 10 U.S. jobs depends on travel and tourism. For more information on USTA and its economic impact study, click here.

Biking in Myrtle Beach State Park

Frequently Asked Questions

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact our local attractions and tourism?

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly had a significant impact on our tourism businesses and overall visitation in 2020, however the area remains resilient compared to other destinations across the U.S. The MBACVB has worked diligently throughout the past year to support our industry through the crisis while also positioning Myrtle Beach for a strong recovery in 2021.

Visit Myrtle Beach Responsibly

What is the Myrtle Beach area’s plan for tourism recovery?

The MBACVB has worked continuously to maintain the Grand Strand’s position as a highly sought-after destination for travelers. MBACVB’s Ready, Set, Go Recovery Marketing Strategy worked in 2020 to support demand for the destination and partner businesses while also keeping responsible travel information as the focus. And we know demand for travel opportunities continues to grow as the pandemic eases. The CVB is  focusing their efforts to support regional travel from key markets, road trips and championing that Myrtle Beach is open, welcoming and an ideal destination to relax this year with key audiences indicating a desire to travel. And they’ll continue to expand their marketing programs as more and more audiences become comfortable with travel.

Southern Hospitality

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.

Southern Hospitality at Restaurants in Myrtle Beach

How does tourism benefit businesses other than hotels, restaurants and golf courses?

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 and plumbers and bankers, which are supported, in part, by tourist dollars.

Home in City of Myrtle Beach

How does tourism affect our local 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.

Airline pilot

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.

Myrtle Beach International Airport

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.

What do you get for your money as a resident of the City of Myrtle Beach?

Tourism plays a huge value 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 2020-21 fiscal year, the TDF provides a 76 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.

Kids running on the beach in Myrtle Beach, SC

Fast Facts About Myrtle Beach Tourism

Broadway Grand Prix, Myrtle Beach

ANNUAL VISITORS

12.8 MILLION
(2020 estimate per D.K. Shifflet)

PASSENGERS

THROUGH MYRTLE BEACH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

1,606,137
(2021) Enplanements

1,604,110
(2021) Deplanements

Myrtle Beach Golf

GOLF COURSES

90+
(2021)

ROUNDS PLAYED

ANNUALLY

2.37 MILLION
(2021 estimate)

MINIATURE
GOLF COURSES

34

Dining in the Myrtle Beach area

FULL-SERVICE

RESTAURANTS

2,000
(approximately in Horry & Georgetown counties)

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
THEATERS

7
with approximately 7,500 seats

OUTLET STORES

300+

* The values listed here are approximations based on the latest research available to the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hotel room with an ocean view

ACCOMMODATIONS

APPROXIMATELY

425 ROOM UNITS

HOTEL OCCUPANCY RATE

57%

(2021 Source: STR)

RENTALS OCCUPANCY RATE

49%

(2021 Source: KeyData)

APPROXIMATELY

157,000

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR RENT
DURING PEAK SEASON
(Source: E.F. Hucks Consulting, LLC)
(Approx. 89,000 represent hotel/motel only)
For more information click here.

Myrtle Beach 501 signage on 31

Economic Impact & Infrastructure

tourism provides more than

$11.1
billion

dollars in visitor spending
annually with another

$2.2
billion

in labor impact, according to recent studies

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Tax Impact

Horry County
Accommodation Taxes:

$31.7
million

(2021)

Hospitality Fee:

$40
million

(2021)

* The values listed here are approximations based on the latest research available to the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Tourism-Funded Projects

Tourism Helps Fund Our Roads

A Look At Horry County’s RIDE Program & The Road Improvements Of The Past 25 Years

Tourism News & Updates

New Restaurant, Park Now Open At Broadway At The Beach

The Hangout Restaurant Now Open, Part Of Broadway's New Key West Village On June 15, 2022, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) welcomed the community to the official ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand-opening...

Myrtle Beach Area Businesses Take part in Sensory-Friendly Pledge

'The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge' designed to expand the Grand Strand community’s programming for autism families Local businesses are encouraged to sign up and pledge their support of residents and visitors with autism, sensory processing...

In-Person Meetings, Group Travel Resurges

Tired of virtual meetings? If so, you're not alone. According to data from U.S. Travel, more than two-thirds of Americans are feeling “Zoom fatigue" with 63 percent of those surveyed noting that they are tired of web conferencing or virtual meetings and are eager to...

Foundation Launched to Accelerate Economic Prosperity, Quality of Life

On Feb. 24, 2022, business and community leaders joined the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) to launch a $3 million campaign for Partnership Grand Strand, a new 501c3 foundation and economic and community development initiative aimed at accelerating...

Sponsors

Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors
Coastal Carolina University
Conway Chamber of Commerce
Destination NMB
Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association
Horry Georgetown Technical College
Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce logo
Visit Myrtle Beach