Florence to Cost Charleston $65 Million in Tourism Losses

Officials in South Carolina believe the impact of Hurricane Florence will cost the city of Charleston $65 million in losses to the tourism industry.

According to The Post and Courier, tourism official Perrin Lawson said the closure of Charleston International Airport Thursday and Friday, coupled with hotels, restaurants, and attractions shutting down due to the storm, will result in the $65 million hit.

The Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau revealed preliminary estimates found that the region lost about $9 million each day, with at least 26 conventions and group meetings being canceled as a result of Florence.

“About half of the hotels, more than half of the restaurants and all the tourist attractions were closed,” Lawson told The Post and Courier. “The biggest thing now is to get the 40,000 people involved in the tourism industry in the Charleston region back to work as quickly as possible.”

At the Charleston airport, flights resumed Saturday, but the facility lost “about 24,000 ticket holders” over the two days of closure and hundreds more as the airport slowly resumed to normal operations.

The good news is the flight cancellations attributed to Florence aren’t expected to impact the airport’s overall passenger totals in 2018, which are still expected to exceed four million for the first time in the history of the facility.

Tourism officials said the full economic impact of the storms won’t be known until the final reports are completed in the coming months.

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