Friday, September 10, 2010

ENC tourism up

People sure hit the beaches this summer.

As summer fades to fall, midyear lodging numbers confirm reports from area coastal towns that summer 2010 was an improvement over the previous year.

“I think overall we had a pretty good summer,” said Surf City Mayor Zander Guy. “The day tripper business has been tremendous this year.” ...

Whether they came for the day or overnight, Crystal Coast Tourism Authority Executive Director Carol Lohr said visitors also made a strong appearance along the Carteret County’s beaches and at area attractions.

“I think we’re seeing a bit of a turn in the economy,” she said. “We had perfect beach weather, which is always good, and I think people wanted to get out and spend time together with their family. We’re a good value for the dollar.”

Lohr said the Crystal Coast may have also seen some visitors over the summer who came here instead of the Gulf of Mexico due to the oil spill.

According to the July 2010 Monthly Lodging Report conducted by Smith Travel Research, the latest numbers show an upward swing in occupancy, good news for tourism in North Carolina.

Statewide, hotel/motel occupancy increased 9.8 percent in July 2010, compared to July 2009. When looking at the Eastern region, which includes Lenoir, Greene and Jones, as well as Carteret, there was a 10-percent gain in occupancy rates when comparing July 2009 to July 2010. ...

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