Tropical storm Irma hit Charleston tourism in a hard way

Published on : Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tropical storm IrmaAs per the statistics obtained from the College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis, the cone of hurricane Irma and its destructive effects impacted the local On September 11th, Irma affected the Charleston as a tropical storm, driving 11.3 percent drop in terms of Charleston County hotel occupancy rates for the month in comparison to the year before, as per the newly released data.

In the occupancy rate, there had been a marked increase all year long before the storm fright.

This was the third year at a stretch an important fall storm had cut Charleston tourism to a huge extent. However, Irma inflicted the hardest hit on the place. On the other hand, hurricane Matthew caused a decline of 5 percent in occupancy rate in October 2016. Back in 2015, the flooding in the month of October caused occupancy to drop 6.8 percent.

“There were more than a few factors that contributed to the decrease in visitation after Irma,”said Perrin Lawson, the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau’s deputy director. “First, Irma came right on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, so hurricanes were ‘top of mind’ for much of the country.”

Also, he said, Irma’s projected path as late Sept. 7 “was parallel to the east coast, potentially having a direct impact on the Charleston area.”

“Irma’s eventual path up the Florida gulf coast and into the southern United States put much of our drive market in the storm’s potential path, meaning visitors would have to drive through the storm to reach Charleston,” Lawson said.

The projections caused what he called “significant lodging cancellations” and national media coverage “also had a residual effect on visitation after the storm had passed.”


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