‘It’s been a struggle:’ Myrtle Beach hotels see spike in cancellations following new travel advisory

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The recent travel advisory requiring Myrtle Beach visitors to quarantine for two weeks if they’re going back to some of the hot spot states is affecting hotel tourism along the Grand Strand.

The General Manager of Oceans One and Operations Director of Bar Harbor and Bermuda Sands, Ray Booth, says there’s really not a good outlook for their tourism numbers over the summer.

The COVID-19 related travel advisory requiring visitors to Myrtle Beach to quarantine for fourteen days after they’ve arrived in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut triggered a spike in hotel cancellations.

Booth says occupancy was good over the July 4th weekend, but during the weeks now capacity has gone down to 50% to 60%.

“The problem is we can’t hold the rate with the occupancy, so even though we might fill up, we’re not going to be filling up at the same rate,” he said.

If they have 100 reservations, they’re cancelling 75 of them, according to Booth.

Booth says even though occupancy might be doing okay on the weekends, they’re having to drop hotel rates, so they’re not making as much money.

“In a normal year, you would have longer stays, 5, 6, 7 night stays and a lot of those people are traveling from distance, you know, from the Northeast or the Midwest, and we’re not seeing that now. Most of those people are staying close to home,” he said.

Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Karen Riordan told News13 last week that the chamber has gotten nonstop calls from concerned visitors to Myrtle Beach. Booth says the outlook for the rest of the summer isn’t great.

“I think it’s probably going to be steady, but we’re not going to make any money in the summer. If we have any money to be made, it’ll probably be in the fall or the shoulder when a lot of the events were moved to September and we can pick up occupancy and rate then,” he said.

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