Myrtle Beach prepares for return of Canadian tourists

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – The ban on travel between the United States and Canada is expected to end next month.

President and CEO for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Karen Riordan said this could have a positive impact on local businesses.

As Myrtle Beach continues to be a top draw for travelers this fall and holiday seasons. The chamber said it’s happy to hear these restrictions will get lifted.

The chamber said in a statement in part quote: “Canada is our top international market and while many have continued to fly to the area, opening the land border will be an important boom to our businesses. Our marketing efforts within the country continue and we fully expect Canadians to select the grand strand for their much-anticipated getaway.”

“Our Canadians are going to be able to cross the border by car and then start to make that migration south to Myrtle Beach so we are very excited about that. We hope that they will plan to stay and usually they will stay for a week, two weeks and some decide to stay the whole season and they will be here the whole winter. Those are the people you will see swimming out in the ocean in January,” Riordan said.

Local hotels told us around this time last year they were usually filled up with around 60% of guests staying monthly, but that wasn’t the case last year.

Hotels said it caused a drop in occupancy. About three quarters of their monthly stays decided that it would be best for them to stay home. Riordan said with the lifting of the ban, it could bring a much needed boost to local businesses as they recover from the effects of the pandemic as Myrtle Beach has become a top vacation spot.

“We’ve been consistently one of the top fall places but now we’ve been told that a lot of people are looking at thanksgiving as a the beach as a place to come so that is exciting for us,” Riordan said.

The new rules will allow fully vaccinated people from other countries to come to the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel.

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