MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Myrtle Beach International Airport said the number of locals moving to the area is keeping their traffic numbers up.

An airport representative, Ryan Betcher, said he has seen an increase in seasonal flights heading into the fall months this year from years past.

Betcher said Myrtle Beach is becoming a year-round travel destination. He said they’re always trying to find ways to make the travel process easier for future visitors.

He said the expansion of their long-term parking lot has been underway since last year, but should be finished within the next month or two.

Betcher said it will bring an additional 400 parking spots. He added that the airport cell phone lot is also going to reopen in its previous location and double in capacity to almost 100 cell phone area waiting spots for customers.

Betcher said the additions will be perfect for next summer’s busy holiday weekends. He added that Labor Day weekend, they had 62,000 seats scheduled in and out of the airport.

“I wouldn’t recommend traveling anywhere on Labor Day weekend,” one vacationer said. “I would highly recommend traveling the day after. That whole week is usually fantastic at any really good resort.”

But Betcher said since COVID, he’s noticed the airlines holding on to markets longer. He said people aren’t just coming to Myrtle Beach to visit, they’re coming to Myrtle Beach to live.

“Come back, we want to move here,” a vacationer said while laughing. “Yeah, we’re looking for houses, we’re trying. We went house shopping, looked at a couple places that we like and hopefully within the year, we’ll be back.”

The terminal expansion project is also being finalized and could start seeing construction as early as spring 2024.

Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and read more of her work here.