Myrtle Beach set for surge of sports tourism in 2023

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 6:16 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - As the calendar turns to a new year, officials in Myrtle Beach are expecting a big 2023 when it comes to welcoming visitors.

Tourism numbers are expected to be on par for 2022 but could be slightly slower next year. That said, some events could give the area a boost in terms of national exposure in the way of sports tourism.

According to Karen Riordan, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, sports tourism actually makes up for two-thirds of all tourism to the city and keeping that strong will be a focus in 2023.

“We are kicking off our 2023 campaign right after New Year’s to hopefully capture those folks that are dreaming of a beach vacation mode. Overall we are expecting a good year in 2023,” said Riordan.

That includes bringing in new experiences, such as the national competition of the World’s Strongest Man scheduled to take place in April.

To round out 2022, however, the city welcomed the American Cornhole League to the Myrtle Beach Sports Center on Thursday. The ACL is holding several events, including its college and high school championships over the weekend.

Families from across the states are coming to Myrtle Beach to participate and see what the area has to offer.

“We are super thankful to be here,” said Becky McBride, who drove with other people from Tennessee. “First of all, we are loving the area. The weather has been perfect since we arrived. The hospitality and the hotel staff. Just everything that is Myrtle Beach makes it an incredible destination.”

Riordan the area has no problem preparing for major sporting events, such as the recent Myrtle Beach Bowl.

“Everything we’ve been working on for the past several years, in the beginning, will help us when people are sitting down at the table when making a decision as to where they are going to go. Hopefully, they will continue to choose Myrtle Beach,” she said.

As sporting events make Myrtle Beach their destination, officials hope tourists do the same.

“We made so many memories just on the trips,” said Brandy Cobb, who came to the ACL event from Mississippi. “If you have a family and you have the opportunity to travel and go. Just do it. You know it’s unbelievable the things you get to see.”

Stay with WMBF News for updates.