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Pandemic Hits Second Wave – Myrtle Beach Tourism Projected Down 31% In 2021

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The United States has been shattering daily records for new Covid 19 cases. The November seven-day average stands at more than 123,000 per day, as of Tuesday, according to a New York Times database. For the first time, new cases surpassed 140,000 on Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

Meanwhile, City of Myrtle Beach Hotels are currently down 75% in Fall and Winter revenue. Even with a vaccine in the works, tourism is projected to be down 31% in 2021 as compared to 2019 numbers.

And 65,368 people were hospitalized across the country with Covid-19 on Wednesday, according to the Covid Tracking Projectthe largest number at any point during the pandemic.

South Carolina’s tourism revenues have dropped by $5.2 billion since February, a 43% decrease year-over-year, according to data from Tourism Economics, a global tourism research and consulting company.

For the week of Oct. 25-31, state visitor spending dropped 32% to $99 million compared to the same week in 2019. That was a $3 million decrease from the week ending Oct. 24.

WHY WILL 2021 BE DOWN?

On Saturday, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana, Utah, Montana and Alaska all set single-day records for new cases. Interstate travel bans are expected to be mandated by governors of Northeastern and Midwestern states soon.

And New York is a ship on the Covid tide,” Mr. Cuomo said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters. N.Y. is expected to lead the nation in all things Covid lockdown.

The state of New York is among the nation’s top states for visitors to the City of Myrtle Beach.

DISMAL SUMMER 2020 WILL REPEAT

According to Coastal Carolina’s Brittain Center For Tourism, July 2020 was down 33% in revenue and 22% in occupancy compared to 2019. These numbers were posted during the peak July 4th week.

In other summer weeks, hotel business was consistently down 40% or more.

Single Focused Economy

With tourism in a free fall, the City of Myrtle Beach has no other options. The city is entirely dependent on tourism.

Despite historically receiving $53 million annually in tax subsidies to promote the city, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is expected to be of little help.

GROUP TRAVEL

Sports Tourism and group travel make up the bulk of Spring and Fall week day and weekend visitors.

Even with a vaccine, group travel will be non-existent in 2021. Large groups are unlikely to be allowed to meet, much less travel on vacation in 2021.

It will take several years to get a vaccine completely in the pipeline. Many Americans will want to wait a few years before taking the vaccine to make certain there are no side effects.

The virus itself kills about 1% of those infected. Some believe taking the vaccine may be more harmful than getting Covid 19.

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David Hucks 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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