Preliminary year-end hotel numbers in South Carolina are in, and the numbers show just how strong the tourism market rebound has been in 2021, compared to a dismal 2020.
As of December 31, revenue per room in Palmetto State was nearly $77, a 74% increase over the prior year. This figure also exceeded the pre-pandemic average for 2019, by 4.1%, according to data from the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Hotel occupancy has also rebounded dramatically, up 32% year-over-year to the last day of 2021. Accommodation, however, was filling slightly fewer rooms than before COVID-19, with occupancy about 5% below 2019.
State Hotels Finished Strong: In the last week of 2021, accommodations in South Carolina filled more rooms than the US average.
Next month, tourism leaders from across the state will gather to discuss the state of the industry at the annual conference. Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travelwhich will be held this year in Greenville from February 7 to 9 at Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Breeze Airways made its maiden flight in Charleston last May.
Now the low-cost carrier is also making its first venture into corporate sponsorship in the Lowcountry.
Breeze is the title sponsor of the Carolina Challenge Cupa local tournament involving three major league soccer clubs.
The week-long tournament will be played from February 12-19 at Point of the Patriots at Mount Pleasant and feature MLS sides Columbus Crew, InterMiami CF and Charlotte F.C. with hometown Charleston Battery. Tickets start at $20.
Breeze did Charleston International one of its busiest hubs for the Utah-based airline with 13 nonstop flights.
“Charleston is one of our four focus cities and a market we really believe in,” said Lucas Johnson, commercial director. “We wanted to get more involved in the community and partner with the Charleston Battery and this tournament felt like a natural fit. We will bring bigger planes later in the year.
“Most of our flights have been primarily east coast based networks with one to two hour flights. As we continue to expand to other destinations we wanted to strengthen our marketing presence and the tournament seemed to be a good way to do it.”
Financial terms of the deal were not released.
“For a small company like the Charleston Battery, it’s really important to bring in a title sponsor,” the battery’s majority owner said. Rob Salvatore. “This is not a trivial matter. This makes the event viable, it adds to its prestige and helps us organize a top notch event.
The tournament, which began in 2004 on Daniel Island, was suspended for two years, due to scheduling conflicts and the pandemic.
“It’s a good business opportunity for Breeze to come in and open the door to the Charleston community,” Salvatore said. “Breeze invests heavily in what they do in Charleston.”
A toast to Gallo
A $423 million wine and spirits production and distribution center in Chester County walked away with one of 18 Impact Rewards awarded this year to the best economic development projects in the country by business equipment magazine.
the E&J Gallo installation – formerly codenamed Magma Project — is expected to open its first phase by the end of this year and will employ nearly 500 workers by 2030. It received the magazine’s highest honor for rural development, with the Chester County Economic Development the agency and the CS Commerce Department win accolades for attracting the winemaker.
It was the only South Carolina project to make this year’s list of commercial installations.
First prize went to Tennessee officials for bringing Ford engine Co.of the 3,600-acre battery and vehicle manufacturing campus in the Memphis area. The $5.6 billion project is expected to create 5,800 jobs.
The Gallo Railroad development will include a bottling and canning facility as well as a warehouse and distribution center for the California winemaker’s growing portfolio of 130 wine and spirit brands sold in more than 100 countries. The company will use the Port of Charleston to export its California wines and import wines from Argentina, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain. Gallo also imports spirits from Australia, the Caribbean, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Venezuela.
A picture can be worth a thousand words, but in Mount Pleasant it can be worth $50.
The fourth largest municipality in the state and the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce offer a “Dine where you live” campaign until the end of February to encourage residents to support restaurants and other food establishments on the east side of the Ravenel Bridge.
Each week, the chamber will give away a $50 gift card to a Mount Pleasant restaurant at a diner who posts a photo of their dining experience on instagram Where Facebook, where the participating institutions are located, and tag @mtpchamber, @experiencemp and the participating institution. Include the #DineWhereYouLive hashtag.
“Our restaurants have worked hard over the past two years to stay open and continue to serve our great community,” the mayor said. Will Haynie noted. “We are proud to encourage the continued patronage of these businesses and shine a light on them for the many benefits they bring to our city.”
Michael Cochranspeaker of the chamber, said the restoration campaign was part of the Shop where you live promotion.
“(They) provide our restaurant community with additional support and promotion that will help them in their recovery and the growth of their business,” he said.
And now for something completely different: an airline passenger-friendly switch.
Delta Airlinesthe oldest carrier in Charleston Internationalannounced last week that it would extend the deadline for booking credits earned on tickets purchased and then canceled for travel during the global health crisis until 2023, according to the Associated press.
The booking incentives were due to expire at the end of this year. The updated policy will also apply to tickets purchased in 2022. Delta customers will be able to use the credits throughout 2024 if their flights are booked before 2025.
The change for travelers reluctant to board a plane amid the pandemic “gives customers more time to use their travel credits, so they can book with confidence that Delta is protecting them even when times are tough.” are beyond their control,” said Allison Aubanddirector of the company’s customer experience.
Passengers are legally entitled to a refund if an airline cancels a flight. But if they back out of the deal, they’re usually offered a credit or voucher, often with a one-year shelf life.
Atlanta-based Delta serves CHS for approximately 88 years, beginning with a courier from Dallas to Los Angeles and back which first flew in July 1934. It has been the airport’s busiest carrier for decades based on boardings.