Travel Barometer shows more are visiting area
Greenville continues to grow in major tourism indicators with occupancy levels ahead of prior peak levels, increased hotel tax collections and an increase in restaurant sales, according to a new report from VisitGreenvilleSC.
Greenville currently gets more than 5.3 million visitors a year, and strong hotel performance gains are capturing the attention of investment firms, buyers, hotel owners, operators and brands, said Jennifer Stilwell, chief marketing officer of visitgreenvillesc.
“Here at home, we are seeing increased buyer and investment announcement activity,” she said. “Our current travel, tourism and hospitality marketplace creates appealing opportunities, but at the same time, we raise cautionary flags as travel remains sensitive to economic trends and global risks.”
The report shows that overall, the realized economic impact of increased visitation is being felt not only through increased hotel tax collections (up 18.1 percent year-to-date), but across a variety of sectors, including dining establishments. Restaurant sales were up 5 percent for the second quarter, with approximately 33 percent of all restaurant sales a result of visitor expenditures.
Greenville also continues to outperform national, South Atlantic and South Carolina performance averages in hotel occupancy and average daily rates (ADR). Greenville occupancy was at 3.4 percent compared to 1.6 percent for the South Atlantic region and 1.5 percent in the U.S. For ADR, the report shows Greenville at 6.6 percent compared to 3.3 percent for South Carolina and 4.0 percent for the U.S. overall.
Hotel tax collections are also up 18.1 percent in the second quarter. These tourism tax dollars fund facilities, new parks and recreation amenities, museums, attractions and the arts, as well as festivals and events in Greenville.
Earlier this year, VisitGreenvilleSC kicked off its first leisure travel marketing campaign, dubbed “Yeah, THAT Greenville.” The campaign focused on branding, sales, public relations, social media and advertising, all with the “Yeah, THAT Greenville” theme.