Industry Research

The Myrtle Beach area visitor industry is the largest industry in the Grand Strand, and therefore critical to the region's economy supporting businesses, jobs and quality of life for residents and visitors alike. This research presented here is intended to help you plan, manage and grow your business. We will update this information periodically so please check back again. Email requests or questions regarding any of the research below to

fast facts

How many annual visitors?

  • 18.6 million (2016 estimate per D.K. Shifflet)

How many passengers through Myrtle Beach International Airport?

  • Enplanements: 970,886 (2016)
  • Deplanements:  972, 041 (2016)

How many golf courses?

  • Approximately 88 (2016)

How many rounds of golf played annually?

  • Approximately 2.7 million (2016 estimate)

How many miniature golf courses?

  • 34

How many full-service restaurants?

  • Approximately 1,800 full service restaurants
    (in Horry & Georgetown counties)

How many live entertainment theaters?

  • 8, with a total of over 11,577 seats

How many hotels?

  • Approximately 425

How many rooms for rent during peak season?

  • Approximately 110,000 accommodations
    (approx. 53,000 represent hotel/motel only)

Economic Impact?

  • $7 billion

Tax Impact to both Horry and Georgetown Counties?

  • Accommodation taxes: $22.4 million
  • Admissions taxes: $10.7 million

How many outlet stores?

  • Over 300

economic impact of tourism


Coastal Carolina University estimates tourism accounts for a $7 billion economic impact and another $2.2 billion in labor impact and 83,000 jobs throughout our local community. Key statistics from our local market are:

  • Tourism accounts for 83,000 jobs throughout the Grand Strand. The tourism industry creates 60,679 jobs directly, and an additional indirect/induced 22.362 jobs. Economists estimate that 80% of local tourism jobs are year-round, full-time.
  • $936 million spent at Grand Strand food & beverage businesses throughout the Grand Strand are attributed to visitor spending.
  • Horry and Georgetown counties combined generated $10.4 billion in retail sales in 2015. (source: S.C. Department of Revenue).
  • Horry and Georgetown generated over $10.7 million in admissions taxes in 2016, almost half of the state’s total admissions tax collections (source: S.C. Department of Revenue).
  • Horry and Georgetown generated more than $22.4 million in accommodations taxes in 2016, more than one-third of the state’s total accommodations tax collections (source: S.C. Department of Revenue).
  • Tourism generated $2.2 Billion of income for employees and business owners and $485 Million in local and state transaction taxes.

For more information regarding the economic impact of tourism on the Grand Strand, click here.
For more information regarding the economic impact of group business on the Grand Strand, click here.


A recent study prepared for the South Carolina Parks Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) agency by the United States Travel Association revealed that domestic travel accounted for a direct economic impact of more than $12.5 billion annually and supported 120,500 jobs. Key findings from that study include:

  • Domestic travelers directly spent $12.5 billion in South Carolina during 2015.
  • Domestic travel-generated employees in South Carolina earned nearly $2.3 billion in payroll income during 2015.
  • Domestic traveler expenditures directly supported 120,500 jobs within South Carolina in 2015. These jobs generated by domestic traveler spending in South Carolina composed 6 percent of the total state nonagricultural employment in 2015.
  • On average, every $104,079 spent by domestic travelers in South Carolina during 2015.
  • Domestic traveler spending in South Carolina directly generated nearly $1.8 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments in 2015. The total tax revenue increase is largely driven by growth in federal payroll income tax, local property tax, and state sales tax.


National tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, employing millions worldwide. The United States Travel Association estimates domestic and international leisure and business travelers spent $990 billion in the U.S. in 2016 and created more than 15.3 million jobs.

For more information on the USTA and its economic impact study, click here.