Florence has finally moved on from our beautiful Grand Strand. While we are thankful that the physical damage to our destination seems minimal so far, we’re very aware of the impact it has had to our partners economically, our counties overall, and our neighbors. We also know that the threat for potential flooding and transportation issues continues. As a result, we will proceed with post recovery marketing efforts with some caution.
Messaging will launch this week, but it will emphasize the minimal impact to the destination along with travel advisories and tips for current road conditions. We’ll be going live on Facebook each day with live shots from the beach with tips for our visitors. Throughout this week and next, we will continue to expand messaging through all available channels, including television, social, digital, email and public relations.
Once key routes to our destination are open and safe for travel, rest assured, we will aggressively market our “Coast is Clear” Visit Myrtle Beach campaign.
Following are some resources to assist you with the key messages for your visitors, as well as a letter from Karen Riordan, president and CEO of MBACC/CVB. We also ask that you take a few minutes to update us on the status of your business by completing our Business Survey.
Thank you, and please do not hesitate to call on us for anything you may need.
Traveler Tips Following the Storm
Latest Travel Advisories and Traffic Links
Open for Business?
Complete Business Survey and See What Else is Open
Help The Grand Strand Recovery Fund
Disaster Assistance Resources and Recovery Fund
THE FOLLOWING UPDATE WAS SENT TO ALL CHAMBER AND CVB MEMBERS, AS WELL AS INDUSTRY STAKEHOLERS
What We're Doing Following the Storm
First of all, I want to thank you all for all your efforts to get Myrtle Beach reopened following the storm. While we feel very fortunate that there was minimal damage to our coast, we know that our neighbors west of the Intracoastal Waterway and to the north have not been so fortunate. It will be a challenging week as we see the continued catastrophic flooding to our areas and the impact it has on our families, employees, visitors and community. We are doing many things to assist our neighbors and visitors at this time, as well as turning the marketing machine back on to ensure we have even more visitors in the future. We're implementing our recovery plan and will continue to refine for changing conditions. Here are some highlights of what we're doing following the storm.
Keeping MBACC Investors and Community Updated on Hurricane/Flooding
As Hurricane Florence and now Florence the Flood continues to storm through our community, your Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce staff is working nonstop to keep MBACC investors and the community updated on Florence. Here are a few highlights:
Assisting visitors both in and out-of-market with information and updates.
Updating businesses on storm information, preparation and recovery, including posting business openings, delays, road closures/openings, etc.
Collecting special offers from businesses to help evacuees.
Sales team assisting and rebooking groups.
Developed and implemented plans to set up remote operations for our call center, business services, and marketing and communications.
Providing support services to the Area Recovery Cooperate (ARC) which the chamber helped establish in 1989. ARC is a private-public cooperative to revitalize economy post-hurricane.
Working closely with the Waccamaw Community Foundation and ARC to promote "Help the Grand Strand" disaster recovery fund to provide relief and recovery support for our community.
Actively promoting local, regional and national relief funds and related efforts.
Updating investors/community on business disaster assistance.
Regularly communicating with the state emergency management center and governor's office regarding visitor population, the impacts of evacuation, and the status of the tourism industry.
Maintaining space as business representative at the Horry County Emergency Management Operations Center (EOC) and serving as liaison between the EOC and local businesses.
Assisting with accommodations for evacuees, contractors, first responders and state personnel.
Assisting with food donations for EOC and first responders.
Inviting Visitors Back to the Beach
Like you, we are ready to welcome more people than ever to the Myrtle Beach area. However, with the continued flooding we will proceed with a balanced and phased approach to our post-storm recovery marketing efforts. We've already reactivated the digital and public relations aspects of our fall campaign this week, and television will be restarted on Monday. Here are a few highlights:
Assisting Visitors With Planning - Our visitor services team has been working around the clock to assist visitors with their vacation plans and navigation questions.
Real Time Updates Online - We're providing frequent updates on current conditions on all online channels, including daily reports from the beach on social media. Key Messages: Our beaches are open and have never looked better. Here's the best way to get here and what you need to know. Plan your Myrtle Beach getaway now. Email is also being sent to more than 700,000 email subscribers.
Turning all Fall Advertising Back On - We were paused during the storm, but we're back up and running with $1.5 million in advertising over the next 4 weeks. Digital advertising has already started running in all markets except North Carolina. This includes search, video, display and social. Air service marketing has also been reactivated.
Media Relations - We're reactivating our fall media efforts and working to get the message out that the Myrtle Beach area is open and ready to welcome guests. We'll be hosting many media over the next few weeks and inviting even more next month.
Our goal is to keep people informed and safe and to rev up the local tourism engine. This fall, we are focusing efforts on letting visitors know that the Grand Strand is Open for Business.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
President and CEO
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce