Gov. Nikki Haley opposes Myrtle Beach tourism tax

Posted by Michael Smith on Feb. 23 at 7:45 a.m.

At a tourism conference this week, Gov. Nikki Haley said she opposes the Myrtle Beach tourism tax. Haley instead says she supports a statewide approach to tourism than “band-aid” solutions.
While I don’t necessarily agree with the statewide approach argument, I’m glad to see Haley publicly oppose the tax. It’s a bad idea and is indicative of this area’s tendency to try to fix problems with penny sales taxes instead of better planning.
Predictably, the usual Myrtle Beach players rushed forward to defend the tax. Some said it “saved the summer,” which I seriously doubt.
The tax went into effect in the heart of the recession. When times are bad, people need breaks. Plus area hotels chiseled rates to the point that it drew more visitors. Tourists want bargains. They’re not swayed by tax supported commercials.
If the Myrtle Beach area wants to grow tourism, it should instead provide visitors with a better product. There’s nothing wrong with our product, but it seldom changes.
New endeavors like the boardwalk or this new Ferris wheel seem neat, but they’re minor additions that I think will have a nominal effect on tourism.
Meantime, eight hours south in Orlando, a major expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure caused attendance to rise 20 percent from 2009 to 2010, jumping from 9.2 million to 11.2 million, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
I am encouraged by the soon-to-open Wonderworks, but even that was almost killed by the city’s community appearance board by its predilection against growth.
Sadly, many local leaders seem content to kick the tourism can down the street. That’s sad considering this area has so much more potential to be a world class destination instead of a regional one.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Gov. Nikki Haley opposes Myrtle Beach tourism tax

  1. mike taylor

    i think u are doing fine so far

  2. joe

    the problem with the tourism in the Grand Strand is that the majority of the people that come to the area are ignorant, cheap rednecks who lack intelligence, class, and the willingness to spend money. that is the problem with tourism in the Grand Strand.

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