Friday, August 13, 2010

Folks are going back to the beach

Despite the slumping economy (or maybe because of it?), people are still heading to the beach, says this article in the News & Observer.

Longer lines, fewer discounts and more "No Vacancy" signs indicate that tourism business along the North Carolina coast has been better this summer than in the previous two. State tourism figures confirm that travel is up across the state, with the southeast region, which includes New Hanover and Brunswick counties, showing the biggest increase - 9 percent - in room occupancy rates for June compared to last year.

"And we expect to see the same for July and August," said Margo Metzger, public relations manager for the state Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.

It's not clear whether business is better because the economy has improved in general, or because some visitors came to North Carolina this year instead of Gulf Coast states to avoid the oil spill, or because the division of tourism amped up advertising last year as room occupancy rates flagged.

Tourism is big business in the state, accounting for more than 190,000 jobs and more than $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenues.

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