MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach is a huge spring break destination, according to Facebook users. Based on the amount of times users checked-in on Facebook during the spring break season, Myrtle Beach was the most popular destination for ages 25 and older.
Myrtle Beach was recently featured on AOL Travel's "2014 Spring Break Crawl" list that included 26 cities. The beach is notably popular with families and empty nesters, thanks to the Myrtle Beach area Chamber of Commerce's marketing efforts. So this new way to distinguish the beach during a slower season is welcome.
The Chamber says there is a push to attract a spring break crowd, but not the kind that participates in wet tee shirt contests. "We welcome college kids, we expect if they come here they'll have a good time and obey all the laws and experience a great Myrtle Beach vacation," said Brad Dean, Chamber president. "But we don't actively market to the college crowd or the spring breakers. "
This shows Myrtle Beach did not make the list of the college-aged group, people younger than 25.
"We do see some college kids that are on spring break come here for their getaway, but more and more they're going to other destinations," according to Dean. "We're increasingly popular with the young professionals who are in the work force and have the discretionary income to travel. So we're not as much a college spring break destination."
Dean says Facebook makes marketing to millennials so easy because they are an online-connected generation. So using that to its advantage, the Chamber markets in ways that show the appeal of Myrtle Beach attractions customized to what millennials are looking for.
"Think about the growth in the Myrtle Beach area," Dean continued. "In particular, our need to bring more visitors here in the times when we're not quite so busy. Growing the spring and the fall is critically important to us. These rankings reveal that we're making good progress as more and more people are searching for information about the Myrtle Beach area as a spring getaway. And the best news of all is that it's a younger audience."
According to Facebook, the Most popular beaches for Facebook users 25 and over
1. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
2. Main Beach, Santa Cruz, Calif.
3. Santa Monica Beach, Calif.
4. South Beach, Fla.
5. Jupiter Beach, Fla.
6. Orange Beach, Alab.
7. Banana Bend Beach, Texas
8. Huntington Beach, Calif.
9. Long Beach, Calif.
10. Newport Beach, Calif.