Thanks goes to the Horry County delegation for supporting tourism-based legislation that will allow local municipalities the option to pass a 1 percent sales tax that will be used to fund tourism marketing efforts.
I'm sure many of the representatives have caught grief from some of their constituents who most likely used the current economic situation as their reason to object to the legislation, but the delegation - along with a majority of their fellow state representatives and senators - proved that making the right decision may not always be the most popular choice. That's the reality of politics. And the current economy is the reason it is critical that we advertise, to get that person who isn't considering a vacation to say, "Hey, maybe I CAN take that vacation and spend a few days with family at the beach."
We have been supportive of the legislation from day one and in our Local View we would like to see every municipality pass the sales tax initiative as soon as possible. Think about it: if we learned that a new industry was willing to relocate to our area, and that business would create thousands of jobs, bring more people to shop in our local businesses, purchase cars, boats and RV's, invest in new homes, play more rounds of golf and have lunch and dinner at our wonderful restaurants, most people would jump on the bandwagon and say, "Here's my penny!"
Well, for Horry County, that industry is tourism, and to get those people here to help create those jobs and spend that money locally we have to tell them about the Grand Strand region. Regardless of what you might think, there are many, many, MANY people who don't know about Myrtle Beach and don't consider this as one of their vacation options. Effective marketing can change that, and effective marketing takes money.
Myrtle Beach city leaders: lead the way and vote in favor of enacting this important tourism tool. If you approve the sales tax we are confident the success that will result from this first wave of marketing will provide leaders in all cities across Horry County the proof they need to step up and enact the sales tax in their communities. This funding increase will grow the marketing budget, which will ultimately grow the revenue that is invested back in our communities by these tourists that support our No. 1 industry.