MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Labor Day weekend has brought a big turnout to the grand strand after the pandemic put holiday plans on pause last year.

Despite a surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said it expected crowds of people from all over visiting the Grand Strand.

Karen Riordan, the president and CEO for MBACC, said 90% of hotels and rentals were filled up. Lodging data showed hotels in the area were more than 53% more occupied than last year during Labor Day.

“For many businesses, they say this is just what they needed to help them recover from the catastrophic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic all last year in 2020,” Riordan said.

The chamber said it would release more data about summer travel to Myrtle Beach after Labor Day. Riordan said this weekend helps businesses recover from the pandemic.

“I think our shopkeepers, our restaurants, our boutiques, and retail are all looking forward to having one more strong weekend. I do think that sales will be robust,” Riordan said.

The chamber said it will release more detailed data about summer travel on the Grand Strand after Labor Day.