Why A Black Chamber?
As we launch, an ongoing question asked is – why have a Black Chamber?
Today’s most critical question for smart Myrtle Beach Business owners who want to grow beyond 15 million tourists is:
Where will my next key new customer group come from?
As a city, we have taken the wise steps to introduce Myrtle Beach to the Chinese International market, but to make that market work on a wide scale, we do need an airport that will do direct flights from China. With a cost in the millions that will need to be paid for by “rural farmers” and others in our entire county, don’t expect one in the next 20 years.
WHITE DOMESTIC FAMILIES
Our market is largely domestic and white (68 percent*). We have worked very hard over the past 70 years to develop this market. Unfortunately, according to SKIFT.com, in 2013 while South Carolina ranked number 3 in white domestic family travel, it also ranked number 14 in marketing to white tourists nationwide. It is noteworthy that Florida (#2 in marketing dollars spent) and Virginia (#7 in marketing dollars spent) are out spending S.C. to attract these tourists to their beaches. Virginia Beaches, Florida’s Northern Beaches, Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms, Hilton Head, Georgia’s Sea Cloister Beaches, and the Outer Banks are all sniping at the edges of our existing white domestic tourist family market. When Disney grows an additional 6 percent or the Outer Banks grow at an additional 3 percent as each did in 2014, they must grow at OUR expense because the population of white tourists simply are not growing in size by that much.
LAND MINE AHEAD!!!
Another huge issue that relates to increasing white domestic tourism is the group’s own demographics. According to the US Census Bureau: Below is the bad news for white domestic tourism for Myrtle Beach in just 9 short years ahead!!!
The non-Hispanic white population is projected to peak in 2024, at 199.6 million, up from 197.8 million in 2012. Unlike other race or ethnic groups, however, its population is projected to slowly decrease, falling by nearly 20.6 million from 2024 to 2060.
As of 2015, millineals (those under 31) are made up of 51% Blacks and Hispanics. 49% of this generation are white.
Millineals are the starter families that our industry needs for continued tourism growth.
Great new opportunities ahead
If your business is looking ahead for a new customer segment of family tourists that are:
- Domestic (cheaper to advertise to)
- Nearby (can drive or fly from the East Coast of the U.S.A.)
- That other states are currently not pouring in millions trying to attract
- That are growing in size and economic wealth
- That have a proven track record of loving our destination
- That will be a majority population by 2043 (28 short years)
Here is the good news from that same U.S. Census Bureau:
- The black population is expected to increase from 41.2 million to 61.8 million over the same period. Its share of the total population would rise slightly, from 13.1 percent in 2012 to 14.7 percent in 2060.
- The Hispanic population would more than double, from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060. Consequently, by the end of the period, nearly one in three U.S. residents would be Hispanic, up from about one in six today.
Your new Myrtle Beach Black Chamber of Commerce has been created so that we, as a city, can be forward thinking and so that Myrtle Beach can outperform other states in attracting minority tourists (Blacks and Hispanics) to our city.
How well will your business adapt to these industry changes?
These companies refused to change and lost:
- Eastman Kodak
- Blockbuster Video
- Newspaper Industry
As your business’s demographics and customer groups are changing, be pro-active. Use our new resources and our 5 million customer reach to change and grow into and with them.
Now is the time. The Myrtle Beach Black Chamber of Commerce and I are here to help.
Let’s move forward together.
President, Educational Services
Myrtle Beach’s VOICE for Minority Tourism