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Coronavirus exposes Grand Strand’s economic dependence on Tourism

Will the Coronavirus shut down Grand Strand tourism Spring 2020?

Today, the City of North Myrtle Beach released the following statement to the press.

Although as late as yesterday SCDHEC advised through its Twitter account that the status of COVID-19 in South Carolina does not indicate that cancelation of events or schools is needed at this time, over the past 24 hours many national events and more South Carolina events canceled, including the Monday after the Masters event in North Myrtle Beach. Additionally, over the past 24 hours, some North Myrtle Beach residents who feel they may be more at risk to COVID-19 than others have expressed strong discomfort over a large public event held in the city at this time.

The 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade was scheduled to be held on Main Street this Saturday, March 14, 2020.

Historically, this one-day, rain or shine event brings approximately 40,000 people to celebrate being Irish and welcome the coming of spring. A parade was scheduled to begin the day at 9:00 a.m., followed by three stages of live music and a children’s area with rides and amusements from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Along Main Street approximately 150 vendors were scheduled to display their crafts, services, information, products, or serve a variety of treats.

This one day event alone garners several million dollars in tourist revenue for the City of North Myrtle Beach.

GRAND STRAND TOURISM IS A $3 BILLION ANNUAL INDUSTRY

Myrtle Beach Merchants

Tourism is the most tax subsidized, lowest wage paying industry in the state of South Carolina.

Tourism brings in $3 billion annually to the Grand Strand.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber is tax subsidized $50 million annually to promote the area to tourists.

With the current national panic over the Coronavirus, questions remain as to whether the Myrtle Beach area will witness a “silent spring”?

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area.David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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