MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is using the cold weather gripping the East Coast to get people to start thinking about warmer days to come this spring and summer.
MBACC President and CEO Brad Dean said January and February are two of the most important marketing months because people begin the process of making their spring and summer travel plans.
He said this is a critical time to get them to think about Myrtle Beach when making those plans and people are also yearning for warm weather because of the cold.
Dean said the snow storms also mean people could have snow days and spend more time possibly watching television or on their computers, so the chamber increases the frequency of ads for Myrtle Beach around these times.
The latest campaign began the week between Christmas and New Years because families are often together.
MBACC also uses targeted geographic advertisements to show the weather forecast in a certain city to people in that area and then advertise Myrtle Beach. When it's warm here, these ads will also show the temperature in Myrtle Beach.
John Taylor, the general manager of Myrtle Beach Vacation Rentals, said he has seen between an 8 and 12 percent increase in bookings so far this year compared to last year at this time.
"It does give us more telephone calls coming in, more website visits, more online bookings," Taylor said. "These things we do see an increase when it does get cold."
Taylor plans to use social media to get people excited about the summer and he said he'll send out an email blast this week.
"Have some sort of a warm weather picture for them and that usually gets them ready to make phone calls and check in their vacation times either this spring or the summer," he said.
He's optimistic the strong start to the year is a good sign.
"I'm hoping like hope it increases for the summer because of that," Taylor said. "I think it will. Usually if the trend is if you book more, you get more bookings for the summer and the occupancy is a little bit higher."
Taylor said January is usually the more popular time for vacation bookings because people are starting to make plans for the year. Taylor said reservations usually then slow down until April when people have more of a final picture of what their summer will look like.