Tourism generates $6.3 billion, 73K jobs to Grand Strand economy, officials say

dbryant@thesunnews.comMay 4, 2013 

Most locals are reminded of how big the local tourism industry is while they are stuck in summer time traffic on U.S. 501 or U.S. 17 Bypass or wait for what seems like forever for a table at a popular restaurant.

But in honor of National Tourism Week, which kicks off Saturday and runs until May 12, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the area’s main tourism promoter, has pulled out the numbers to detail how much the industry means to the local economy:

• 14.5 million visitors in 2011

• $6.3 billion economic impact

• 73,500 jobs

• $9.7 billion in retail sales in Horry and Georgetown counties

• $9.9 billion in admissions taxes in 2011

• $17.2 million in accommodations taxes in Horry and Georgetown counties

And, in case you’ve lost count, the Grand Strand has about 425 hotels, 102 golf courses and 11,577 seats in live theater venues, according to www.tourism worksforus.com, a website set up by area tourism promoters.

In honor of National Tourism Week, there will be live entertainment at Myrtle Beach International Airport and snacks at area welcome centers.

Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at dbryant@thesunnews.com or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.

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