MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. _ Another flat summer has some business leaders asking the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to rethink the way it promotes the Grand Strand.
The chamber's major marketing efforts are outdated and don't match the trend of tourists using the Internet to book vacations, said Jay Smith, owner of the Days Inn on the Ocean in Myrtle Beach. That's costing the Grand Strand new visitors and setting the beach back, he said.
"It is extremely troublesome to me that we have been flat for four years," Smith said. "We are quickly evolving back into a five-month resort like we were in the 1980s."
After a year when advertising became even more important because of a lagging economy and terrorist attacks, Smith and other business leaders say the chamber should try different marketing strategies to attract more visitors. Several leaders have asked to meet with chamber leaders in the coming weeks as they develop next year's marketing plan.
Some chamber …