Myrtle Beach ranks as top travel destination despite increasing gas prices

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The results of a survey by the world's largest travel site are in the Grand Strand's favor.

More Americans say they are packing their bags and heading to a warmer destination.

TripAdvisor names Myrtle Beach the number one travel destination. According to Trip Advisor, most people are looking to vacation in a city with an ocean, making the Grand Strand an ideal location.

Gas prices are up 33 cents from this time last year, but it still isn't keeping people away.

Tammy Allows from Michigan says, "Because of the harsh weather it made us want to travel to Myrtle Beach to get to a better climate."

The polar plunge covering the country this winter has tourists packing their bags looking for a warm get-away.

Arnold Laws, manager of Whitesands Motel on Business 17 says he has seen at least a 10 percent increase of Northern customers staying at his motel.

He says he looks at competitors' lodging prices and marks his prices down a little to get travelers to stay at his place. He is also looking to ease customer's expenses by offering some discounts.

Laws said he will try to, "offer deals through the putt-putt courses and offer discounts." He adds, "if you pay for a package for the putt-putt course you get a pizza half price or something like that."

Businesses say they are expecting a more active summer with three-quarters of people starting their trips on Memorial Day weekend. Gas prices should not affect tourists in our area, meaning the roads will be busy.

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