2009 going to be bad for tourism in Myrtle Beach?

Condos in Myrtle BeachAccording to a story in the Sun News yesterday, tourism for the 2009 season may prove to be a very challenging year for the Myrtle Beach area.Brad Dean, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, where he said the “number of trips taken will be down next year, and hiring levels will be much lower”.

Most of those in the hospitality industry will agree that tourism did take a blow for the 2008 season. Of course, this all depends on what particular industry you are in. I even remember a story a few months ago when even Hamburger Joe’s Restaurant in North Myrtle Beach was taking a hit. And now with bike week bikers being bummed about the new ordinances for bikers, the spring bike rally probably won’t bring as much money as it has in previous years. So yea, 2009 might be quite tough!

“While the chamber’s membership is divided between pro-rally and anti-rally voices, the one overriding opinion of our board and members alike is that the chamber can and should lead an effort to develop a post-rally revenue recovery plan,” Dean said. I am glad to see efforts are being made to attempt to recovery some of the money lost by the ordinances.

Now the vacation rental industry is another story. Not to toot our own horn, but Condolux, however, is still going strong. Seeing as how we specialize in Myrtle Beach condos and beach homes, you would think that the vacation rentals might take the biggest hit. However, those businesses that have built a strong reputation and foothold in the industry over the years already have a good handle on the trends and ways to work around them without having to raise prices for the customers. Of course, every business and even the Chamber has to work on GETTING them to Myrtle Beach first.

“In 2009, it can’t be business as usual. We’ll need to reinforce the value component of the destination because so many travelers will be scaling back their expenses. … The most recent survey indicates that nearly half of all likely travelers in our top 10 feeder markets are planning to reduce their travel in 2009,” Dean said.

3 thoughts on “2009 going to be bad for tourism in Myrtle Beach?

  1. Since the economy is so bad, everywhere’s tourism industry is getting a hit, not just Myrtle Beach. At least it’s not just us!

  2. Tourism like everything else will suffer next year, true. But the good news for Myrtle Beach is that some of the people who would have taken a more expensive vacation are now planning to go to good places within driving distance like MB, so I think tourism there will stay pretty strong.

  3. With Myrtle beach in driving distance for millions of people the drop in gas prices will allow many families to take a vacation they thought they could not. Any people in the Northeast can get to Myrtle beach within 8 hours verses trying to get a flight to Florida and dealing with delays and expensive car rentals.. I do not think it will be that bad and lower gas prices will spur retires to take a vacation they might of not taken especially our Canadian tourist friends.

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