Myrtle beach chamber discusses effectiveness of outside advertising

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- Many options along the Grand Strand attract visitors every year. The one percent tourism tax of goods and services goes toward outside advertising and promotions. Equations research is showing Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce how effective outside advertising is in other cities.

Part of the money that is spent on advertising comes from the accommodations tax, state and county governments and some private industry. All together the chamber spends about 25 million dollars in advertising. A portion of the money goes toward TV commercials that run in big cities like Washington, D.C.; New York, NY; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; and Atlanta, GA.

Brad Dean at the Myrtle Beach Chamber says advertising is a win-win for everyone along the Grand Strand. Dean says, "Tourism marketing is absolutely essential to grow the tourism industry. We can hope that repeat visitors will continue to come back but the only way to grow your market and bring first time visitors to the area is to advertise, show them all they have to offer and once they come to the Grand Strand and enjoy our hospitality and all that the area offers they are more than likely to come back."

The Chamber hopes to find out how effective advertising dollars were in 2010 and to see what trends we're seeing in 2011 to know exactly how to market the area.

CCU professor Taylor Demonte about how the tourism season has kicked off here so far. He said that right now it is reasonably strong.

Since January 1. 2011, we have had a three percent increase in revenue per available hotel room. Compared to last year, more people are spending a higher cost to stay in a hotel. Reta Berman says outside marketing has paid off, "They hear Myrtle Beach commercials all winter long when the snow is like four feet deep. Anytime I mention we moved to North Carolina everybody says Oh, you are near Myrtle Beach. They even equate both of the Carolinas to Myrtle Beach."

One of the marketing strategies that appeals to many people is the variety of activities offered here at the beach and the short drive time. The chamber also hopes to encourage first time visitors to become real estate buyers.

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