MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Fourth of July week is a busy one along the Grand Strand, and due to COVID-19 people planning to spend the holiday in the area have a lot of questions.
Horry County is still a hot spot for the virus. Last week, seven governors warned residents to quarantine for 14 days after visiting South Carolina.
Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said they’re still expecting a lot of visitors for the holiday weekend.
Riordan said it’s not the chamber’s place to tell people whether or not they should travel to the Grand Strand, but rather inform and educate them on the facts of where the area stands.
“I think it’s about taking personal responsibility and that they and their family are practicing all the guidelines,” Riordan said. “If they want to go out to eat which is, of course, normal when they are on vacation, check ahead. Find out about the restaurant, find out about the outdoor dining, find out if they are able to do curbside or takeout in case the restaurant might be crowded.”
Officials with the Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism at Coastal Carolina University said this year, for the week including July 4th, 97.7% of properties are reserved for the holiday reporting period.
At last check, that’s up from reservations for the same period in 2019.
As to whether or not she expects people will cancel their trips because of growing COVID-19 concerns along the Grand Strand, Riordan doesn’t think so.
“I don’t at this time,” she said. “Some may make that personal decision to cancel, but we are seeing a lot of popularity with our beach rentals, multi-generational families do that, our campgrounds are also extremely popular as camping is a hot, hot way to travel this year. Our traditional hotels, motels and condo hotels are all reporting that they are still expecting their guests to come.”
Riordan added that those heading to the beach should spread out and maintain social distancing to help stop the spread of the virus.