Grand Strand leaders participate in study to improve tourism industry

Grand Strand leaders participate in study to improve tourism industry

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Tourism is the bread and butter of the Grand Strand. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is getting a taste of how well the area is doing when it comes to drawing in visitors.

The MBACC met with leaders from the Grand Strand community including, members of city council, hoteliers, business owners, etc., to complete an assessment study Tuesday, aimed at discussing specific things the Grand Strand's tourism industry could benefit from. The group will meet again, Wednesday.

The goal is to look at gaps, key issues, and opportunities for potential products, amenities, programming and experiences that would benefit the tourism industry across the Grand Strand- not just Myrtle Beach.

"it's a fiercely fiercely competitive industry today,"  Paul Ouimet with Destination Marketing Association International said. "The primary message that we're giving to communities is, it's no longer good enough just for a handful of people in the tourism industry to be involved in working with visitors, it's really a community wide initiative today,"

Destination Marketing Association International is running the digital survey.

The program "Destination Next," will help the chamber determine the next steps the area needs to take to continue to be a thriving destination.

Through about a 20 minute survey, with about 70 different statements, the company can analyze areas of focus.

The surveys address variables including: Destination Performance, Brand, Accommodation, Attractions and Entertainment, Convention and Meeting Facilities, Air Access, Events, Sporting and Recreation Facilities, Communication and Internet Infrastructure, Mobility and access.

Surveyors have to rate statements on a number scale such as: "The destination has a brand thats simple, memorable and market based."

"Make sure we can identify areas of potential improvement and also areas of strength that could be leveraged in the future," Ouimet said.

Destination Marketing Association International which has assessed about 250 destinations in more than 18 countries.

The owner of Croissants Bistro and Bakery, Heidi Vukov, is one of more than 100 people to dive into the survey.

"I think it's important for the leaders to know how the business owners are feeling and where we have room to grow," she said.

The goal is to keep Myrtle Beach thriving as a tourism destination.

"When we get the results from the assessment we can start to take that and collectively come together, collaborate, and set the plan, for the future strategies to market and promote our destination," Scott Schult with the MBACC said.

This event is closed to the public, but the results will be presented in an open meeting in March.

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