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Busy hurricane season causes drop in S.C. tourism in September

Hospitality and Tourism
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Late-summer storms caused a drop in S.C. tourism, according the state’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

September’s numbers showed a 5.7% decrease in statewide hotel RevPAR (Revenue per available rooms). This is the metric used in the hotel industry and is calculated by multiplying a hotel’s average daily room rate by its occupancy rate. The statewide room rate was at $67.88 in September.

Despite the September drop, the year-to-date numbers continued to outperform 2016 levels with an increase of 4.8%.

According to the report, state park revenue dropped significantly because two major revenue producers – campgrounds at both Edisto Beach and Hunting Island state parks – closed because of damage from storms. State park revenue dropped 24.9% in September to $3,312,085, down 5.2% year-to-date from 2016.

Storms also affected travel across the state. Deplanements decreased compared to 2016, likely because of canceled travel plans during hurricanes and tropical storms, the report said. Statewide, deplanements dropped 5.4% to 375,231 in September, but remained 4.6% above year-to-date numbers at 3,580,033.

Deplanements in Columbia totaled 42,337 for September, an 11.5% decrease compared to the same month in 2016 and down 7.4% for the year. Despite a 10% drop in September, Charleston deplanements remained 4.9% ahead of 2016, while Greenville/Spartanburg deplanements dropped 2.3% in September but remained 3% above 2016 numbers. 

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