Tourism authorities at Myrtle Beach are to focus on wedding tourism this year.
Officials of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said that this year it would focus more on marketing the Grand Strand as a wedding destination. The chamber is focussing on weddings because statistics show that last year, 25 percent of all marriage services performed in the US were destination weddings. With more people opting to get married in exotic locales, the demand for unique and bespoke wedding services is high, and authorities at Myrtle Beach are gearing up to meet that demand, which is estimated to be worth about $18bn in the US.
Trends in the marriage industry have changed a great deal in the US. While in the past couples opted marry in their hometowns, education and exposure to new horizons is luring them to the more exotic locations.
Meeting up with media representatives to promote the destination, officials said that they were focusing on the beach’s versatility to attract more wedding planners to the area. Myrtle Beach wedding planner, Cheryl Cox, said, ‘We cover quite a gamut from beach weddings to plantation weddings to weddings if you want something more rustic, whether a barn or country type, Low Country weddings. We offer it all. For example, if the groom wants to come to the Grand Strand, we have wonderful golf courses and we have that opportunity, the ladies can have shopping or spa day, so we also have the wonderful entertainment venues.’
Local officials are hopeful that 2013 will be a prosperous year for the destination, with increasing hotel occupancy indicating that visits are on the increase. There is a general consensus among wedding planners that Myrtle Beach is affordable and has a good reputation as a family destination. With many visitors planning entire vacations around a wedding event, the area has the potential to attract a whole new cliental.