The Myrtle Beach area enjoyed an extra $14.4 million dollars in exposure and revenue after it was the site of a high-profile presidential candidate debate. That is according to a newly-released study by the BB&T Center for Economic and Community Development at Coastal Carolina University.
After Myrtle Beach hosted the January 16 televised GOP presidential debate sponsored by Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the South Carolina Republican Party, the chamber of commerce there asked CCU to study the economic impact of the activities surrounding the event.
CCU economists found that the area’s businesses were able to benefit from the heightened activity that took place over the long Martin Luther King Day weekend. Read report.
According to a list released by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the numbers include:
$11.5 million value in advertising from print and broadcast exposure
$823,000 spent on associated non-debate activities
$504,790 attributed to room revenue
$734,410 spent by visitors in addition to room nights
$520,000 for debate site preparation
$298,000 revenue for food and beverage business
Local tax revenue of $87,710 is included in the above figures
According to the researchers, the $11.5 million advertising value was calculated by the value of print and broadcast coverage from the debate and does not include internet and social media exposure. The report says “The estimation attempts to calculate the expenditures that would have been necessary to obtain an equivalent amount of paid advertising space in print and broadcast media outlets that was instead received as an ancillary benefit of the media coverage for the national debate.”
Social media had a pervasive presence at this debate, unlike four years ago. The study listed the following:
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce also reports a 34 percent increase in website traffic (unique visits) in January, up considerably from 2011 and normal year-over-year growth.