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Myrtle Beach Travel Focus Group

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					Myrtle Beach Area
Chamber of Commerce
2007 Target Atlanta Focus Groups

             February 2007



                                   1
                                        Objectives


Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s objectives with
     the 2007 Target Atlanta Focus Groups included:

(1)    Understand the decision making process related to
      •   Family Vacations (Families with Children)
      •   Weekend Getaways (Couples Alone)

(2)   Identify which vacation destinations appeal the most
      to the Atlanta market … and why they are appealing

(3)   Determine how the Atlanta market now views Myrtle
      Beach … and how to make it more appealing




                                                             2
                                                          Participant Profile
                                                                (Family Vacations)

             <13 years only                   1 to 21 years                           13 to 21 years only
 Children    8%                           50%                                        42%

                         35 to 44 age range                             45 to 54 age range
     Age                      42%                                          58%

                                Annual Household Income $35K to $100K                        $100K+
 Income                                          75%                                         25%

                                 Female                                       Male
  Gender                          50%                                          50%

                                       Caucasian                               African-American       Other
 Ethnicity                                    67%                                    25%              8%

               High School                            College Degree                          Grad Degree
Education        17%                                          66%                                 17%


         0%                       25%                         50%              75%                       100%


                                    Note: Total of 12 actual participants included

                                                                                                        3
                                                     Participant Profile
                                                        (Weekend Getaways)

                               1 to 21 years                                              None <21
 Children                           58%                                                   42%

                       25 to 34 age range                         35 to 54 age range           55+ age range
     Age                        50%                                     25%                          25%

                              Annual Household Income $35K to $100K                               $100K+
 Income                                        75%                                                   25%

                               Female                                              Male
  Gender                        50%                                                    50%

                                     Caucasian                                 African-American        Asian
 Ethnicity                              66%                                            17%             17%

              High School                        College Degree                   Grad Degree          Other

Education       17%                              50%                                   17%             16%


         0%                     25%                     50%                            75%                     100%


                                  Note: Total of 12 actual participants included

                                                                                                               4
                                                    Willingness to
                                                  Consider Key Travel
                                                     Destinations
                                        100%
100%
       92%                                                           92%         92%
             83%      83%           83%
                                                                           83%                        83%
80%                                               75%                                                     75%
                                                               67%

60%
                            50%


40%                                                                                          33%

                                                                                         25%
20%


 0%
       FL Beach        Other FL    Gulf Shores   Gatlinburg
                                                         Hilton Head/ Myrtle Beach Myrtle Beach         Other
                                                           Savannah                w/in Past 2         Atlantic
                                                                                      Years             Beach
                    Family Vacations      Weekend Getaways                           (Actual
                                                                                     Travel)

                   Notes: (a) statistics indicate a “yes” response to whether participant would ‘moderately’ to
                   ‘strongly’ consider each destination for travel; and (b) total of 12 participants in each group.

                   “Family Vacation” participants’ vacation habits by season: (a) Summer (92%); (b)
                   Fall (33%); (c ) Winter (25%); and (d) Spring (17%).                                               5
                                               General Vacation
                                            Practices and Planning
                                                                    (Part I)

(1)    What is involved in participants’ family vacations (or weekend
       getaways)? Including …
      •   How many per year?
      •   How long are they?
      •   Time of year they typically go?
      •   Who goes along?
      •   How do they travel there? (Drive vs. fly? How long of a drive?)

(2)    What they look for in a destination? Including …
      •  Preferred types of destinations … and why they prefer them
      •  Important selection factors
      •  Specific types of activities and amenities sought
      •  Favored destinations … and those they would not consider
      •  Who gets involved in deciding … and how decision is made

                       Note: Key elements from “Moderator’s Discussion Guide” … key
                                    variations between groups are noted
                                                                                      6
                                       General Vacation
                                    Practices and Planning
                                            (Part I -- Continued)

(3)    Nature of their up-front research and planning? Including …
      •   Amount of research they how
      •   How they do that research
      •   What messages prompt them to check further
      •   Information sources used
      •   Types of accommodations sought




                                                                     7
                                        Impressions of
                                        Specific Beach
                                       Destinations (Part II)

(4)    What type of ambience or “feel” is important? Including …
      •  Southeastern beach destinations offering that “feel”
      •  What characteristics contribute to that “feel”

(5)    Specific impressions of key beach destinations?
      •   Destin
      •   Panama City Beach (or “Other FL Gulf Coast Destinations”)
      •   Hilton Head / Savannah
      •   Myrtle Beach
      •   Outer Banks (only “Family Vacations” group)
      •   Gulf Shores / Biloxi (only “Weekend Getaways” group)
      •   Miami Beach (only “Weekend Getaways” group)

(6)   Specific likes and dislikes of each?




                                                                      8
                                            Impressions of
                                           Myrtle Beach and
                                          Ad Materials (Part III)

(7)    Why they have or have not traveled to Myrtle Beach recently?
      •  Past 2 years vs. past 5 years
      •  If not within past 2 years, why not?
      •  If have within past 2 years, why?

(8)    Specific impressions of “Vacation Guide” … then, of 2 ad concepts (i.e.
       Little Girl with Family at Beach … Couple in Gardens)
      •    General impressions of brochure / ads
      •    Likes / dislikes re: key ad elements (e.g. photos; activities shown)
      •    Additional information needs and other suggestions

(9)   What 1 or 2 key messages (or actions) would attract more Atlanta
      residents?




                                                                          9
     Key Findings:
“Family Vacations” Group




                           10
                                              General Vacation
                                           Practices and Planning
                                            “Family Vacations” Group


            One to three family vacations per year … each typically
         5 to 7 days in length … Summer was most popular time to go,
               followed by Spring Break and Christmas/New Year

“We go on vacation almost every year” … “Usually in the summer”

“Minimum of three per year … spring break … usually go for 6 days”

“ … only once … for 6 or 7 days … that’s about all the kids will stand”

“Typically, 3 weeks a year … [during] spring break, my wife takes the kids, and
     maybe a friend of theirs, to some beach.”

“We used to almost always do it in the spring, but as my children got older I had to
     do it in the summer.”




                                                                                  11
                                              General Vacation
                                           Practices and Planning
                                            “Family Vacations” Group


          Usually, the whole family goes along … Spring Break is the
          exception due to work schedules … and while they may fly,
           driving is more common and a 6 hour drive is no problem

“In the summer, we take a family vacation … usually we go someplace close and
      drive. Then, for the last few years, we take a week between Christmas and
      New Year’s … “Everybody goes on every trip, except for spring break when I
      have to work … so my wife takes the kids”

“I can drive anywhere … a 12 to 14 hour drive is not a big deal to me”

“We drive … to keep the expenses low”

 “… as a family, we take one … then we take a bunch of little [vacations] … 3 or 4
     days. We’ll drive up to 9 hours in one day … Orlando or … the Southeast”

“We don’t like to fly, so we usually end up in the Southeast, either the beach or the
    mountains”


                                                                                12
                                                General Vacation
                                             Practices and Planning
                                              “Family Vacations” Group

           The beach is a favored destination – offering more variety
          than the mountains … the majority of participants preferred
                 different beach experiences from year to year

“For 5 to 7 days, I would not go to the mountains – I can’t imagine spending 5 to 7
      days in Gatlinburg … if we’re going for that long it’s going to be the beach …
      there’s more variety.”

“I personally don’t like to vacation in the city. I like the open [areas], whether it be
      the beach or the mountains. As a family, we go together to the beach … the
      Gulf Coast Florida … and we usually pick a different location every time.”

“I like to go every time to different places … I don’t like to go to one place every
       year and stay there … I like to go different places and see different water.”

“Every year we will go to the beach … we like the beach …”

“We typically go to the beach … everybody is satisfied with the beach”



                                                                                    13
                                                General Vacation
                                             Practices and Planning
                                              “Family Vacations” Group

         Many adults prefer to relax and unwind at the beach … some
           want adventure and action … and good restaurants and
              sightseeing activities round out the experience.

“… the further I can stay from theme parks and that kind of stuff, the happier I am
     … the touristy things just don’t appeal to me”

“My idea of a vacation has changed as I’ve gotten older … I prefer to take a book
     and sit and everybody leave me alone. I like to sleep late … my husband likes
     to fish, and my son likes to fish … I love to sit on a boat or at the beach …
     watch the sun come up and watch the sun go down.”

“I am very adventure seeking, so like water sports … I like scuba diving … I love
     rollercoasters and things like that”

“For me, if I have a mall … a nice restaurant … if I can walk around and see some
     historical stuff, if at all possible … I’m fine. I don’t need a whole lot – I just
     need to get away. The biggest thing about me going on vacation is that I
     don’t have to work … I can sleep late”



                                                                                     14
                                              General Vacation
                                           Practices and Planning
                                             “Family Vacations” Group

          A beach destination needs to offer a variety of activities to
         satisfy the diverse interests of families … these include pools,
            amusement parks, shopping, sightseeing and even golf.

“For the weeklong vacation, it has got to be something that everyone can do,
      because we want a vacation from each other as well.”

“The kids like the beach, but they like to have a place that they can go swimming …
     because you can only take so long on the beach. We like places with
     amusement parks, putt putts … activities for them … ”

“I travel where I can go for sightseeing … everybody in my family likes to go
      sightseeing. Even though we might go on the beach and stay oceanfront, we
      might go on the beach several times a day then go sightseeing [the other
      times] … go to museums [and other types of sights] … something educational
      … that’s what I prefer to teach my kids … and that’s what they like also”

 “Recently, I started golfing with my father, so the last two family vacations … it
     has to be somewhere that my father and I can go play golf”


                                                                                 15
                                            General Vacation
                                         Practices and Planning
                                          “Family Vacations” Group


           One of the favored destinations is Destin, FL … it has a
         variety of activities that satisfy both the adults and the kids
           … some have made it their annual beach vacation spot.


“Activities are primarily why we have always chose Destin. We don’t like big
     crowds … Panama City has always seemed to be so crowded. The kids are
     [only] good for a few hours at the beach … and then my husband and son will
     then split off and will do deep sea fishing, and my daughter and I will go
     shopping. There is a theme park there … that location for us has just seemed
     to have about everything we need. The condominium high-rise we stay in has
     an indoor and outdoor pool … it just seems to have it all … I’ve never had a
     complaint from any of the family members. I’m certainly open to any place
     that has the accommodations. 6 hours is great … (or) I’m going to fly”

“We almost always end up in Destin … we found a spot there that we’ve been very
    happy with … we’ve tried several places, but we like that the most.”




                                                                            16
                                               General Vacation
                                            Practices and Planning
                                             “Family Vacations” Group

         The Florida Gulf Coast is a favorite area due to the variety of
          beach experiences there, as well as its sand and water …
          Atlantic Coast beach destinations are often sought out for
                their attractions, sightseeing value and charm.

“We still avoid the heavily populated places – I’d never go back to Hilton Head …
     you live among 3 million people, and I don’t want to go on vacation with 3
     million people. St. George Island is where we used to go … ”

“We typically like the Gulf Coast – the water’s nicer”
“Usually we go to Panama City because we like the beach, the sand”
“Our vacation destinations have changed since the kids have grown up … when
     they were little, we used to go to Myrtle Beach every year … it had all of the
     music parks and everything you could imagine … as they’ve gotten older and
     we’ve gotten old, we’ve gone to Amelia Island, which is beautiful because it’s
     a small town and there’s not a ton of people”

 “Charleston is one of our favorite places because we can walk around and see the
     historical stuff on our own terms – that’s the vacation for us.”


                                                                               17
                                             General Vacation
                                          Practices and Planning
                                            “Family Vacations” Group

         Most families do moderate to extensive up-front research on
           potential destinations … up-front planning tends to be a
            collaborative process that involves the whole family.


“Ours is always planned ahead”

“Starting in about January or February, the four of us start making suggestions, and
     then we get on the Internet and start doing research … finding out what kind
     of money we’re looking at, and stuff like that … we have to have some kind of
     consensus, because we’re in the car for a long time”

“Sometimes when we’re out driving, we’ll stop at rest areas [in the lobby area] and
    a lot of these restaurants and stuff will have coupons [and brochures] – we
    always use those … so [when we were traveling last year] we were already
    doing research on what we wanted to think about for this year”

 “Typically, I generate the idea of a couple places where I think we need to go, and
     then I talk with my family and my daughter will help me out [since she is
     almost 20 and she sometimes takes a visitor along]”


                                                                               18
                                              General Vacation
                                           Practices and Planning
                                            “Family Vacations” Group


          Most use the Internet as their primary research tool … it is
          typically used once a “short list” of destinations has been
                           developed by the family.

 “First we’ll get on the Internet and my wife will pull down some things and we’ll
      look at them together. Then, we gather up all of our information and my wife
      will usually call and make reservations.”

 “We typically do ours on the Internet … you can see pictures of the place you want
     to stay … they show you the rooms, they show you the facilities, and then you
     can research the whole area – what other activities there are to do [for the
     boys] … are there museums, water parks … ”

“We narrow it to some destinations in Florida, get on the Internet, see what kind of
     packages you can get, what the rooms are like”




                                                                                19
                                                General Vacation
                                             Practices and Planning
                                              “Family Vacations” Group

           Word of mouth is also a key information source -- as are
          Chambers of Commerce … both are seen as offering unique
                    insights into potential destinations.

“My favorite is asking people where they have been … and go on the Internet to
     actually see where they were, and if I’m interested, I’ll make a call and maybe
     want to see one of their brochures … word of mouth”
“I want a local establishment – it can be a hole-in-the-wall, but if everyone thinks
     that it is good, that’s where I want to go … word of mouth for me says a lot …
     a friend of mine will say ‘I will go back to that particular establishment”
“We typically start off by doing our research on the Internet, and if we find a place
     we really, really like … that sounds really interesting … if I can’t e-mail the
     Chamber of Commerce, I will get on the phone and call them and ask them to
     send me brochures … and they are usually very friendly about doing that”

 “We do go the Chamber of Commerce website … my husband will call them … they
     can give you ‘little bits’ [of information that are useful] – little out of the way
     places … so, the Chamber is our friend”


                                                                                   20
                                               General Vacation
                                            Practices and Planning
                                             “Family Vacations” Group

           Accommodations is an area where much research time is
         spent … online resources, 800 numbers, and collateral are all
               tools used to evaluate accommodation choices.

“Once my wife and I make a decision about where we want to go, then we’ll poll our
    friends. Depending on who’s telling us, I wouldn’t necessarily have to see a
    picture … I would like to see one, but I’m asking those things when I’m
    speaking with them … I would much prefer to stay in a condo or rent a house.”

“Well, if the pictures look really good … if it looks inviting … and the water looks
     nice … that is a key trigger. Good graphics. And, if you actually view the
     rooms online … they have a townhome or condo where you can actually see
     the view … we did that a couple of years ago and it worked out well.”

“I quantify how close to the beach are they … I always have to speak with customer
      service to quantify certain things before I make the decision to stay”




                                                                                 21
                                               General Vacation
                                            Practices and Planning
                                               “Family Vacations” Group

             “Accommodations” is one of the top research areas …
          oceanfront hotels, condos, and “full service” properties with
                         amenities are most desirable


“I prefer ‘full service’ [referring to amenities] … it’s my vacation. I don’t mind
      cooking a couple of nights – getting fresh seafood and cooking – but I want
      everything done for me when I go … I work too hard at home”

“We prefer [beachfront] so we don’t have to walk more than 20 steps.”

“Safety is the first thing that I look for” … “I’m real picky about cleanliness”

“I would rather rent a house than a condominium or an apartment, or a hotel.”

“We really look for pet-friendly places now”




                                                                                   22
                                               Impressions of Specific
                                                 Beach Destinations
                                                “Family Vacations” Group


          The ideal beach destination has a ‘tropical’ feel with soft,
          white sand and turquoise blue water – also, palm trees … it
            has a ‘happy’ and ‘festive’ feeling ... like in the movies.

“I want it to have palm trees … I want to see the Southern flowers … I want it be –
     not touristy – but I want it to have that look [of the beach] … I want to know
     that I’m down at the beach … I like the tropical ‘feel’ ”
“I like to see white, sandy beaches for miles … with blue water”
“… the happy place look ... I do want to have a festive view to look at”
“I don’t want to put my shoes on just to walk down to the ocean”

“I want to see the whitecaps and see that ocean … and I want a hotel that I can
     look out the window and see that ocean at 3 o’clock in the morning or at 10
     o’clock in the morning … we drove the entire coast last year down by Daytona
     and found the most miraculous sites … it was just amazing … the palm trees
     swaying … we found lighthouses … it was just -- ‘oh my gosh’ – things that
     dreams and movies are made of”
                    “You want to see the white sand, you want to see the clean
                       sand … I don’t want to see any jellyfish all over”
                                                                              23
                                                Impressions of Specific
                                                  Beach Destinations
                                                  “Family Vacations” Group


        Some destinations – like the FL Gulf Coast – consistently offer
        that “feel” – white sand and blue water, great sightseeing, and
                   a calming atmosphere. [Video/audio clip]


“… from the Gulf Shores of Alabama to the Panhandle of Florida because of the
     white beaches … I like the white sand”
“I also want to be able to go to a – not a city – but [a town like] Amelia Island …
      [where] you can walk up and down the brick sidewalks and it’s an older place
      … an older town like Charleston, but you’re also at the beach … and, when
      you’re driving in and seeing the water – that’s very exciting”

“[in the off season] the further south [you go], you can still get 70 or 80 degree
      weather … you don’t have to get in the water – it’s not that big of a deal – but I
      like sights and the peace and quiet”

[Other well-liked destinations include] Amelia Island … Ft. Lauderdale … Isle of the
     Palms (near Charleston) … St. George Island … Gulf Shores.



                                                                                   24
                                                Impressions of Specific
                                                  Beach Destinations
                                                 “Family Vacations” Group


            Places that “violate” that image (due to seaweed or safety
          issues) are avoided on future vacations, and given bad “word
               of mouth” – something that others definitely listen to.


 “We went to Jekyll Island one year … and the beaches were dirty, there was
     seaweed all over it … it was just disgusting”

 “I grew up around Myrtle Beach, and that’s not that way at all. Myrtle Beach is not
      white sands … When I went to Destin [the sand was different] … but, I went in
      June and there was all this Junegrass … it was filthy”

“Since I have my daughters, I try to [choose] safe places [several in the group nod
     in agreement]. I went to Miami one time a [few years back] and somebody
     broke into my windshield and stole a lot of stuff … I won’t go to that kind of
     city … [several nod in further agreement].”

“As a family, I wouldn’t go to Miami … I’ve been there a couple of times, but it is not
     really a family place to me. It is more of a ‘flash’ [type of place]”


                                                                                  25
                                             Impressions of Specific
                                               Beach Destinations
                                                “Family Vacations” Group


         Current perceptions of Destin are very positive overall …
       those of Panama City Beach are mixed – a “love/hate” feeling
            … similar to Hilton Head (but for different reasons)


•   Destin: Clean, white sand … Great restaurants … Family [oriented] … Not so
    crowded … Lots of shops … Lots of activities … Close -- not too far

•   Panama City Beach: Thongs … Overcrowded … Very quiet and nice -- [during
    Christmas break] … [At end of July, where we stayed] we haven’t found it
    crowded at all … It’s kind of a tacky, amusement atmosphere … Love it … [Off-
    season, you] can get condos fairly cheap within walking distance of the beach
    … Overdeveloped

•   Hilton Head: Where the ‘hoity toities’ go play … Very snooty … fine to go as a
    couple -- I don’t consider it [as a place] for my children [since] they would be
    bored as can be … beautiful golf courses … there is not a lot of development
    and there is open space still -- it is nice … perfect place to go with your wife …
    off season for a family is good

                                                                                26
                                             Impressions of Specific
                                               Beach Destinations
                                                “Family Vacations” Group


       Firsthand experience with Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks
       was very limited … “the old perceptions” of Myrtle Beach are
                still pervasive among those familiar with it.


•   Myrtle Beach: Throngs of people … Kids are driving up and down the
    boulevard -- you’re going to sit in traffic … We used to love it, but then it got
    too crowded and touristy … [When] the kids were little, they liked all [the
    attractions] -- they have all the touristy, tacky amusement parks. [Note: total
    of 3 participants were familiar with Myrtle Beach]
    [One participant offered this unique observation regarding Myrtle Beach]
    “I like the tidal waves and the noise coming up from the tidal waves … it’s a
    really good one … 6 foot high waves coming – you don’t get that kind of waves
    in the Southeast … it’s a nice one”
•   Outer Banks: Never heard of them … There are actually wild horses there --
    very nice if you like a laid back … Wind surfing …Not familiarity, but curiosity



                                                                                27
                                              Impressions of Myrtle
                                             Beach and Ad Materials
                                                “Family Vacations” Group


         Participants have not visited Myrtle Beach recently for three
         key reasons: (1) overcrowding and related traffic issues, (2)
             nicer Gulf Coast beaches, and (3) lack of familiarity.


[Six out of the 12 had visited Myrtle beach during the past 5 years … nobody had
      been there in the past 2 years]
Reasons Why They Haven’t Visited in Past 2 Years:

“Crowded” … “Traffic” … “The traffic’s real heavy in Myrtle Beach -- that’s the main
     reason we don’t hang out in Myrtle Beach very often”

“We tend to like the Gulf side [because of the] prettier water [and] the beaches”

“[We choose Destin because of] the white, sandy beaches. I’ve only been there [in
     Myrtle Beach] one time.




                                                                                28
                                              Impressions of Myrtle
                                             Beach and Ad Materials
                                                “Family Vacations” Group


             However, one off-season traveler gave Myrtle Beach
           excellent “word of mouth” … golfers appear to love Myrtle
              Beach … and it has a reputation for great seafood.

Positive Myrtle Beach Experiences:

“Now, the last few times we’ve gone, we flew in [there] in April … now granted, it’s
    cold on the beach but that didn’t stop me and the kids from getting in the
    water. We were having a blast … it was wonderful … there weren’t many
    people there … if you go off season, Myrtle Beach is not bad. It’s got really
    good restaurants, good seafood, and people are extremely friendly”

“[My husband] goes there for golf every year … he loves it.”

“Murrell’s Inlet has the best seafood … but it’s crowded. That’s where we would
    stay … Garden City, Murrell’s Inlet … we’d always go into Myrtle Beach
    because of the amusement park, but we’d always stay out. The Intercoastal
    Waterway is beautiful too.”



                                                                                29
                                               Impressions of Myrtle
                                              Beach and Ad Materials
                                                 “Family Vacations” Group


         The “Family at the Beach” ad spoke to this group better than
           the “Couple in the Garden” ad … the little girl having fun
            conveys ‘good times’, and a beach scene is important.


“[Referring to the ad with the family] You know that this is Myrtle Beach … you can
     see the water … you can tell the family is really having a good time … the
     water is clean … you don’t see seaweed. That’s somewhere you want to be.”

“It shows the beach, it shows water, and it has a family … the other one doesn’t.”
“[Referring to the ad with the couple] this would be more inviting for a couple like
     my wife and I … I have a 15 year old daughter, so I tend to do the beach
     things, but for our anniversary this [ad] would be more appealing to us. We do
     a lot of sightseeing when we go on trips with just my wife and I.”

“I don’t see anything for kids [in the ad with the couple]” … “I don’t think that
     scenery back there is too romantic.”




                                                                                    30
                                                Impressions of Myrtle
                                               Beach and Ad Materials
                                                  “Family Vacations” Group


        The “Vacation Guide” communicated Myrtle Beach’s range of
         activities … but it needs upgraded photo images and clearer
        communication of the range of beach settings available there.


“The cover’s good … but this sand that they’re on [in the inside spread] is like the
     North.”
“The sand that they’re on is very unappealing” … [with another adding] “That’s
      Myrtle Beach” … [but another said, showing the back cover photo] this is real
      nice.”
 “[Referring to the photo of the couple in the restaurant] this girl does not look like
      she likes being with this guy. [A number of participants laugh in agreement.]
      She’s not happy at all. She’s like ‘ooh, I’m stuck with you’.”
“It does appeal to the 7 day vacation … you have a variety of things to do … not just
      the beach … I’m getting the feel for that from this brochure.”




                                                                                  31
                                              Impressions of Myrtle
                                             Beach and Ad Materials
                                               “Family Vacations” Group


            Two key recommendations from participants: (1) fix the
          traffic problem … and (2) make sure family vacationers can
                          find the white sand beaches.

“I’d be very disappointed if I went there and didn’t find this sand [from the back
      cover shot]. I’m expecting this [the sand from the back cover] there … if you
      give me this brochure and I go, I’m expecting to see this sand there.”

“Communicate that it’s more of a ‘getaway’ than a magnet that draws everyone
    from everywhere. If you could convince me that that was there, it would be
    more appealing.”

“You need to push more of this here [referring to the back cover photo] because
     when I think of Myrtle Beach, I think of kids … a contained area where you’re
     going to get a lot of traffic and a lot of kids. I kind of see Panama City the
     same way … from again, the end of May until the first couple of weeks of
     August. It just is not somewhere I would go [then]. I think that it would be
     nice to be during the day with your family, but I’m not willing to drudge
     through that.”

                                                                               32
                                            Summary of Key
                                              Implications
                                         “Family Vacations” Group

Key implications of these findings for Myrtle Beach include:

(1)   Most families take both annual vacations (sometimes several) and
      a number of long weekend getaways … thus Myrtle Beach should
      focus on capturing its “share of travel” with this group

(2)   Off-season weekend getaway trips with the kids may be a good
      way to introduce (or reintroduce) Atlantans to Myrtle Beach

(3)    Myrtle Beach should focus on – and continue to build – its “variety
       of activities and experiences at the beach” image
      •    Sightseeing – including restaurants, boutiques, gardens/parks
      •    Theater and shows
      •    Water activities – including deep sea fishing & “wave watching”
      •    Variety of beach experiences “all in one place”


                                                                      33
                                         Summary of Key
                                           Implications
                                      “Family Vacations” Group

Key implications (continued):

(4)    “Vacation Guide” is a good start, but will need upgrading
      •   More robust content re: “variety” (with nuances addressed)
      •   “Niche destinations” in Myrtle Beach area
      •   Improved photos of beaches (sand, water) and sites
      •   More coverage of restaurants, shopping (esp. boutiques)
      •   Accommodations and golf related resources
      •   More detail on theater/show/entertainment options

(5)   Continue to build on delivery of Myrtle Beach travel information
      through websites, SEO, the Chamber of Commerce, and point-
      of-entry venues (e.g. Welcome Centers)

(6)   Generate more awareness (including PR coverage) in Atlanta
      area … create happy, festive image … “variety at the beach”


                                                                   34
      Key Findings:
“Weekend Getaways” Group




                           35
                                              General Vacation
                                           Practices and Planning
                                            “Weekend Getaways” Group


        Three to six weekend getaways per year … each typically
        3 to 4 days in length … any time of year -- but for the beach,
        typically a driving getaway during Spring, Summer, or Fall.

“For a weekend trip, we usually make it 3 times a year … I looked at the calendar
      and said ‘it’s about time to go’ … six hours is pretty much the limit – for a
      weekend trip for 3 days … 8 hours is too much … we pretty much [look in a] 5
      to 6 hour radius. Destin is on this side … we’ll go to Myrtle Beach …”

 “I usually take about 6 of them a year … my fiancée and I go different places … we
      drive everywhere we go, because she doesn’t like flying … we usually take 2
      or 3 days …we go [places like] Myrtle Beach … Biloxi.”

“3 to 4 a year … just with my wife and I … and, I typically take them when there’s
      no work – during a holiday weekend … I’ll take off the Friday before and then
      come back the Tuesday [after] … I’ll take 2 days from work … time of year
      doesn’t matter … mostly drive -- to the beach, to the Panhandle of Florida, to
      Jacksonville a lot, and Amelia Island.”


                                                                                 36
                                             General Vacation
                                          Practices and Planning
                                          “Weekend Getaways” Group

         The types of weekend getaway trips vary widely – from city-
          oriented “theater” and sightseeing visits, to get-togethers
          with friends or family, to relaxing beach or mountain trips.

“We go to destinations where we have friends or something to do”
“[We go to] New York … Philadelphia … Baltimore … and we’ve been to Washington
    DC a couple of times … we do the Smithsonian every time we go [and pick up
    where we left off last time].”
“We take trips to Kentucky, Mississippi, and Florida to visit relatives … and then
    the other times it’s usually the Atlantic Coast – somewhere in there – where
    we can get some good seafood.”

“I fly to New York [for weekends] to see shows … and he doesn’t go … [those trips
      are] as long as I can stretch them out. I like to go on Thursday, if I can get
      there in time for a show, and see one Friday, two Saturday, and one Sunday …
      then come home.”
“We do a lot of beach … I’m not so much for laying on the beach all day … my wife
    loves it. We pretty much go wherever for 3 or 4 days – just to get out of town.”



                                                                                37
                                              General Vacation
                                           Practices and Planning
                                          “Weekend Getaways” Group

        Beach destinations usually have wide appeal … this segment
        craves a mix of activities (such a relaxation and sightseeing)
           … most like to experience a variety of different places.

“If we’re going to the beach, we want it to be all inclusive … you can include the
     kids by going to the beach, and the amenities of the hotel … we went to Beau
     Rivage so we were still able to see shows and go to the casino – the casino is
     another one, going just to gamble”

“Generally, I like to go someplace that I haven’t been … I try to experience
    different places … in the Southeast … my wife is more partial to the beach”

“I bring up all these places to go, and my husband says ‘no, no, no’ … and he finally
      says ‘yes’ and that’s where we go … I like the beach and he does too.”

“During the last 15 years we have been to 50 or 60 places … we tried Myrtle Beach
     and Panama City … and there are only a handful of places within 4 or 5 hours
     driving that we say ‘let’s go there – we know we can’t go wrong’. Charleston
     is the only place – other than Myrtle Beach, where we go once a year – where
     we [will go back to].”



                                                                                 38
                                              General Vacation
                                           Practices and Planning
                                          “Weekend Getaways” Group


          “Theater” and “sightseeing” trips may involve much longer
          trips, often involving airfare … restaurants, shows, historic
        sites and shopping are important activities during these trips.

“Like New York – we went to see the plays, and ate at restaurants that we see on
     Food Network, and things like that … if I’m traveling, I watch the Travel
     Channel and Food Network first, and I want to try all those restaurants that
     Oprah and everybody else is going to.”

“The places I go to I want to go for entertainment … the places I select, I go to be
    entertained. [Regarding the planning process] we look for what’s going on –
    what’s happening where we’re going [in terms of entertainers and shows]”

“We love sightseeing … [For weekend trips] Charleston … Charleston has everything
     … from boutique places to clothing stores … [the participant that didn’t like
     Charleston listens with interest and side comments indicate she may
     reconsider] … we can just walk to each house and look at the design of the
     architecture … walk to all the shops … there is so much to offer”


                                                                                 39
                                           General Vacation
                                        Practices and Planning
                                       “Weekend Getaways” Group

        Key motivation for weekend getaways is to “get out of the
        city” … special events and friends/family get-togethers are
         triggering factors, in addition to the need for relaxation.

“… starts with brainstorming … ‘we’ve got to go … let’s get out of here’ … ‘we
     need a break – we need a vacation’ … just one of those conversations …
     we need to go somewhere soon’ … then, money is the second thing … ‘it’s
     going to be an expensive plane ticket – can we drive?’. If it’s cold, we
     want to get to the beach … if it’s hot, we want to get to the beach.”

“[Weekend trips in] spring, summer, or fall … when the weather’s better … we
    have in the winter – just the other night my husband said ‘I’d like to go
    somewhere – maybe we ought to go down to Florida for a weekend next
    month – it’s been pretty cold around here, and [I’d like some] warmer
    weather’.”

“[We take] at least 2 [long weekends per year] … going down to Florida ... we
     made a tradition of it …”



                                                                                40
                                             General Vacation
                                          Practices and Planning
                                          “Weekend Getaways” Group


       Getaways to Southeastern beach destinations typically involve
       driving … 6 hours drive time is reasonable for most taking 3 to
           4 day getaways … last minute trips may involve flights.

“Within a 6 hour radius, we usually drive … for short weekends, it has got to be no
     more that 6 hours in the car … we would drive 8 hours for a 4 day weekend,
     just because it’s easier to pack all of this up in the car than to fly”

“[For] Florida or the Coast, we drive … we throw it in the car and go. [Maximum
      drive time when going to] Florida is usually about 6 or 7 hours … so we usually
      drive. North or South Carolina … [when we go] 3 to 4 hours … we drive.”

“We’ve had weekends where we look at www.delta.com [for good fares] …
    somewhere cheap to fly … a lot of the flying is last minute … the long
    weekends [are often] planned ahead of time … and its not really longer than 6
    hours [of driving on these long weekend trips].”




                                                                                41
                                                  General Vacation
                                               Practices and Planning
                                               “Weekend Getaways” Group


              Persons involved vary widely, depending on stage of life …
              retirees travel a lot and tend to travel as couples … or they
                     meet friends or family at travel destinations.

“Just my husband and I at home … we travel together … and occasionally go on a
     weekend getaway vacation with our daughter and the children and her husband”

“I’m retired now and we try to take 3 or 4 vacations per year – whether short or long.
      My wife tells me where we’re going to go and I say ‘yes’ … sometimes we meet
      friends at a destination, which I really like [he added emphatically]. It adds a lot
      to the trip to meet people that are your friends … somewhere else”
“My husband just retired last year – that is why we travel [so much]”

“My husband is retired and we don’t have to stick to just a 3 day weekend … we can
     take a longer weekend, or we can decide to go somewhere for a week or more …
     We don’t mind driving more than 6 hours … because we can take extra days.”




                                                                                      42
                                                  General Vacation
                                               Practices and Planning
                                               “Weekend Getaways” Group


             Those in their 20’s or early 30’s also travel a lot … often not
             having children, they take more getaway trips, but may not
             spend a lot on them … they also take more individual trips.

“I think it depends … next weekend my husband is going away to Park City to ski …
      last winter I went to Miami with some friends [on an individual trip] … my mother-
      in-law has a beach house in South Carolina so we go there 4 times a year … we
      go to Hilton Head as well, and Charleston … [the length of the trip] depends – if
      we go to Miami or Park City, [it is for] 4 days … if we go to Hilton Head, 3 days …”

“I still do lots of traveling here and there with friends … not necessarily with my wife”

“I’m 29 and my wife is 28 … we have a 3 month old … don’t know how much traveling
      we plan to do upcoming [with the baby] … but, we’ve been out of town a couple
      of times … she’s got family in North Carolina and I’ve got family in Florida … so,
      we do [some] long weekends out of town just to see them.”




                                                                                      43
                                                 General Vacation
                                              Practices and Planning
                                             “Weekend Getaways” Group


            Families takes many types of getaways … sometimes they go
              as couples, sometimes with the kids … child care issues
             often limit the lengths and budgets of ‘couples’ getaways.


“My mother-in-law [want us to give her notice – for taking care of the kids] about 3
     months in advance [and she comes to stay with the kids in Atlanta]. No longer
     than 3 days – that’s the threshold for her to stay with the kids.”

“I love to travel … [when growing up] my family always traveled … [now we] go away
      more often … on longer trips … we do go away on weekend getaways together --
      with the kids -- and by ourselves with some friends – a little mix of everything.”
“Once I had to start paying for my son to fly, we drive everywhere – we don’t fly…”
“If it’s a weekend we go with the kids, we need to find something for them to do … [so
       I research] the area and the hotel we are staying at … [including] amenities like a
       babysitting service available there … if there is a child friendly zone … a lot of
       resorts will have it ‘all inclusive’ with activities planned for the kids.”



                                                                                      44
                                               General Vacation
                                            Practices and Planning
                                           “Weekend Getaways” Group

           Decision making typically starts either with the budget and
           lists of specials, or with ideas of interesting events/sites …
              TV and publications play a key role in idea generation.


“I look at cost – that’s kind of the first issue [we look at] … to see if we can get
      away … in our price range ... then we decide if that’s where we want to go or
      not … hotel specials and things like that … [beach or mountains because] you
      can always find something to do there … [We like to] go to new places.”
“I feel like more of my ideas are word of mouth and things that I have heard about
      or seen on TV first …”

“On TV there is a program called “Three Day Weekend” with Erin Haynes … it is on
     one of Turner’s networks … if people look like they are having a good time [on
     a segment] we will put that on the ‘possibilities list’… then plan a trip there”
[Other Sources] Southern Living … Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “List of Festivals”
     … LA Times “Theater Listings” … TheWeatherChannel.com … Lonely Planet.




                                                                                  45
                                              General Vacation
                                           Practices and Planning
                                          “Weekend Getaways” Group


         The Internet plays a key role in how this group – especially
        those interested in “theater” and “sightseeing” -- researches
                potential destinations and accommodations.

“[We just] look it up on the Internet and say ‘how does that sound – do you want to
     try that for a weekend’ … then look at the price … and see if there are hotel
     specials and things like that.”
“When we went to New York, I used the Internet … we went specifically to see a
    play, but [I searched] restaurants online and who has the best pizza … we
    tried to go to Montel Williams’ show and made a weekend of things and were
    just looking for activities instead of just [wandering] around the city.”

“I spend ‘big time’ time on the Internet doing research … I know the city I want to
     travel to, and I go to each travel website … and I go to all of the hotels … read
     the comments that people write [about each hotel] … [he adds that he looks
     at the ‘star’ ratings and sees why they are rated as they are] … [he uses]
     travel industry websites [including] Frommer’s … I click on the hotel and on
     the sightseeing [items] and see what are the other peoples’ opinions on those
     hotels … from there, I draw my own conclusion”

                                                                                  46
                                                 General Vacation
                                              Practices and Planning
                                             “Weekend Getaways” Group

         Internet promotional specials and virtual tours are important
         website components re: accommodations … special services,
             such as “pet friendly” hotels and B&Bs, are also key.

“Depending on the destination and how we got to choose it, if we stay at a property
     we haven’t stayed at before, the first thing I do is to [take a] virtual tour of the
     hotel … showing you actually gives you peace of mind … [it may not be] as
     spacious or luxurious as they’re showing, but it gives you an idea…”

“If it’s something that prompted us to go solely on the value of the package –
        whether it’s Delta or Airtran or other travel sites – it will give you the specials
        and guide you on through and tell you where you can stay … if it’s one of
        those, you will follow the link and research it that way”

“We to pick places where we can bring our dogs … we don’t like kennels and dog
     sitters [just] cost so much – an extra $200-$300. Cost is [a key factor]”

“The Bed & Breakfast is the best way to get the feeling for the (place) you are
     visiting … no matter where you go it gives you the flavor for the community”



                                                                                       47
                                               Impressions of Specific
                                                 Beach Destinations
                                              “Weekend Getaways” Group


        The ideal beach destination is similar to that described by the
        “Family Vacations” group … however, this group’s description
            focuses more on relaxation and a sightseeing ‘twist’.


Description of the Ideal “Feel” or Ambiance of a Beach Destination:

White sugar sand … Sunshine … Good weather … Relaxation … Water ... Beachfront
     accommodations … No dead fish … The umbrella and the tables by the pool …
     Not overcrowded … A good place to walk … Maybe a nice lighthouse
     somewhere … A decent pool … “brainless activity” … Restaurants [since]
     beaches have the best seafood …”All inclusive” … ‘Hanging out’ … Casual
[Other Notable Comments re: “Feel” or Ambience]
“I like to get up early and drink my coffee while the sun’s coming up … and watch
      the waves coming in … I could do that all day long.”
“I don’t like a formal place to stay at the beach … I like it to be more casual.”



                                                                                    48
                                                Impressions of Specific
                                                  Beach Destinations
                                             “Weekend Getaways” Group


          Most of the “ideal” destinations mentioned (on an unaided
         basis) were quaint, relaxed beach areas … they spanned from
                       North Carolina to the Gulf Coast.


Destinations that Provide the Desired “Feel”:

“Ocean Isle, NC … just north of Myrtle Beach … it’s really laid back and really nice.”
“Seaside … that’s like Destin used to be … it’s just easy going”

“Clearwater … the best sand … soft, white sand.”

“Sunset Beach, NC”

“Hilton Head … I like the Harbourtown … [another adds] Quiet – very quiet”

“Jacksonville … the beaches aren’t pretty at all … but the town is just fun”




                                                                                 49
                                               Impressions of Specific
                                                 Beach Destinations
                                              “Weekend Getaways” Group


              Perceptions of Destin were mixed – many saw it as
          overdeveloped … other quaint Gulf Coast destinations were
           viewed positive, with the exception of Gulf Shores/Biloxi.


•   Destin: Booming … Getting a little commercial … Good fishing …Good
    restaurants and good shops … Too many high rises … Beautiful beach … Pretty
    beach and a pretty area -- but not getting prettier, getting worse ... Not as
    quaint as it used to be … It’s where Panama City has bled over into

•   Other FL Gulf Coast Destinations: [The group named a number of places –
    mostly quaint / relaxed places] (a) Sunnyside [FL] -- it’s smaller [with] no high
    rises … (b) Alligator Point -- kind of a wild beach -- not really developed [and]
    very pretty [with] little houses -- off the beaten path … (c ) St. George’s Island …
    (d) Gulf Shores – Orange Beach.

•   Gulf Shores / Biloxi : “all casinos’ … the whole thing kind of heavy … gambling,
    smoking, and lights – not a beach destination” … “was great (but) not anymore”



                                                                                  50
                                              Impressions of Specific
                                                Beach Destinations
                                              “Weekend Getaways” Group


          Perceptions of Savannah were quite positive, although most
           do not consider it a beach destination … Miami Beach had
          mixed perceptions, with distance and overcrowding issues.


•   Miami Beach: I love it … Too far … [Good temperature in winter] … Too
    expensive … Too many people … Too much hustle bustle

•   Hilton Head / Savannah: I like Savannah -- cool town [with] all the moss ... I like
    it but not for the beach … I don’t consider it a beach destination … It is a
    walking town … [and one participant added:]

    “Savannah’s definitely a weekend getaway [and she has done many weekends
    there] … love staying at their Bed & Breakfasts and just walking there … for
    Atlanta people, that is definitely number one – there is always something going
    on … [but] I would never go there just for the beach.”



                                                                                  51
                                           Impressions of Specific
                                             Beach Destinations
                                           “Weekend Getaways” Group


         Perceptions (unaided) of Myrtle Beach were mostly positive
        … great restaurants, lots of nightlife and entertainment, and a
            nice relaxed atmosphere in many surrounding areas.
                              [Video/audio clip]



•   Myrtle Beach: (Audio/video excerpt with representative quotes)




                                                                      52
                                                Impressions of Myrtle
                                               Beach and Ad Materials
                                               “Weekend Getaways” Group

           More of this group have had recent experience with Myrtle
          Beach … experiences were positive … the biggest obstacle is
                      Myrtle Beach not being ‘top of mind’.
[Ten out of the 12 had visited Myrtle beach during the past 5 years … two had been
     there in the past 2 years]
Reasons Why They Haven’t Visited in Past 2 Years:

“Just a different place to go … just a different beach”
“I might go back there now … seeing that you mentioned it.”

Reasons Why They Have Visited in Past 2 Years:
“My husband went to play golf”
“I’m not sure if either one of us had been ever – at least it had been a long time – we
     knew someone that had a place up there … I’m not sure [if we got a deal to go]
     or not … the sun didn’t come up the whole time we were there – so, went up
     there with swimming trunks and T-shirts, and we needed a jacket because the
     wind was blowing pretty good. Had a good time … there’s so much to do that
     we didn’t mope or anything … we went bowling.”


                                                                                  53
                                                  Impressions of Myrtle
                                                 Beach and Ad Materials
                                                 “Weekend Getaways” Group


           The “Vacation Guide” brochure communicates the variety of
        activities available and appeals to many with families … “Theater”
             curiosities were piqued but they wanted more specifics.


[Comments regarding new “Vacation Guide” brochure]

“I like the family pictures … it looks like a family place.”

“I think it’s got a little bit of everything … it’s got the shopping, it shows you the
       family [having fun] , it’s got the golf … they’re having a good time – its shows …
       it’s very easy -- you don’t even have to read it”

“This is one of the places I have been meaning to check into … if I got this in the mail
      … and I do have kids … it might just be one of the destinations I’d go.”

“I met a friend there from New York and he compared it to K-Mart on the beach …
     that was 10 years ago … [this brochure] makes me think ‘that’s my younger
     daughter’ … more of a family destination.”
                      “I like the nightlife … [another said] I’d like to know what’s
                           on when [from the theater point of view].”
                                                                                       54
                                                  Impressions of Myrtle
                                                 Beach and Ad Materials
                                                 “Weekend Getaways” Group

         But, the brochure focuses too much on family activities for some
          in their 20’s … accommodations information was needed … and
        the shopping and activities leave some from Atlanta unimpressed.

“This caters [to children] … this looks like a place to go if I have kids … it’s not really
     piquing my interest … it doesn’t really show anything [I am interested in now].”
“Maybe some pictures of accommodations.”
“First, the hotels are all high rises [don’t appeal to me] … I like to be able to walk out
     on the beach … the shopping picture [doesn’t appeal to me] … I like outside
     shops … boutiques and stuff … Zales and Starbucks – you have that anywhere”
“I’ve never been to Myrtle Beach, and I have a kid, even the food pictures are not
      appealing … when I think of Myrtle Beach, I think strictly of the beach and
      being outside … I don’t want to go to the aquarium – I can do that here …
      there’s a bunch of golf pictures … but, these shopping pictures – what are they
      doing? … you’re not showing me anything to entice me to come there and shop
      … [she looks for] specialty shops that are unique to that area -- unique type
      things that you cannot go here and get.”



                                                                                      55
                                                 Impressions of Myrtle
                                                Beach and Ad Materials
                                               “Weekend Getaways” Group


           The brochure’s beach scenes don’t compete well against the
            Gulf Coast … and a retiree’s comments hint that there is a
             vital part of the Myrtle Beach story yet to communicate.

“The sand is rough … I would like them to show a better sand beach” … [another
     added] “If I’m going to the beach, I want white sugar sand -- when I look at this
     [i.e. the inside cover] it kind of turns me off”

“My memories of being to Myrtle Beach before would make me go back – not the
    brochure. [in the “Summing Up” section, this retiree – who loves Myrtle Beach --
    added] Murrell’s Inlet has some really nice seafood restaurants … they aren’t
    fancy … but everybody in there seems to be having a good time … but they don’t
    show that … there are a lot of nice restaurants that aren’t formal.”
“There are a lot of 20 and 30 year olds that they aren’t marketing to … they go and
     spend money and see the nightlife”

“It’s more affordable … Myrtle Beach is more affordable than Hilton Head”
                  “Tell them about fine seafood restaurants.”

                                                                                  56
                                                    Impressions of Myrtle
                                                   Beach and Ad Materials
                                                  “Weekend Getaways” Group


        Finally, the “Family” ad appealed to some, but missed reaching
          the 20’s audience (typically with no kids) and the “Theater”
       audience (sometimes retirees) … the “Couple” ad was not strong
                 in reaching the “Weekend Getaways” audience.


[Comments regarding the two ad concepts]

“I like that one – the little girl looks like she’s having fun

“[One participant could not identify with either ad – he doesn’t have little ones and he
     can still remember when he was 25]. [The little girl ad] makes it look like a
     beach destination … with [the other] you wouldn’t even know. [Two others
     agree … another added] “… introduce a third ad for the younger generation”

“I just don’t like the tagline [referring to the couple in the garden] … I don’t think I
      was 25 when I was going to the garden”




                                                                                     57
                                              Summary of Key
                                                Implications
                                          “Weekend Getaways” Group


Key implications of these findings for Myrtle Beach include:

(1)   The implications from the “Family Vacations” group are supported by
      the “Weekend Getaways” findings … Myrtle Beach should cultivate the
      “variety of activities and experiences at the beach” image

(2)    There are many different types of “weekend getaway” travel … Myrtle
       beach should focus on the following audience segments -- where it has
       a strong basis to compete with other beach destinations:
      •    “Beach” – a variety of “niche” beach experiences all in one place
      •    “Theater” – a range of entertainment choices (all in one place)
      •    “Sightseeing” – great restaurants, interesting places to explore
      •    “Golf” – excellent golf courses (note: need complementary
           activities such as spas, boutique shopping, arts and crafts)



                                                                       58
                                              Summary of Key
                                                Implications
                                          “Weekend Getaways” Group

Key implications (continued):

(3)    New economic development opportunities flow from this approach:
      •  New types of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and other
         retail businesses
      •  Additional theater, music, and entertainment options
      •  Upscale spas, health and wellness retreats, and educational
         seminars and events (e.g. corporate learning)

(4)    Promotional materials need to be more “niche market” oriented
      •   “Twentysomething” audience (e.g. nightlife / entertainment)
      •   “Retiree” audience (e.g. take time to explore the variety in depth)
      •   “Families” (e.g. great for a weekend or a week vacation … any
          time of year … also, lots of different kids activities)
      •   “Couples” (e.g. romantic getaway packages; golf/spa packages)


                                                                         59
                                            Summary of Key
                                              Implications
                                        “Weekend Getaways” Group

Key implications (continued):

(5)    Overcoming the “white sand/turquoise water” challenge … focus on
      •   Variety of beach experiences available in one place
      •   Attention to Detail/Image in Photography & Film
      •   Range of complementary experiences available (e.g. theaters and
          shows … shopping … interesting sightseeing options)
      •   “Great restaurants” and regional cuisines (e.g. Lowcountry)
(6)   Overcome the “Charleston” challenge by promoting the different mix
      of activities (e.g. more theaters/shows … more beach activities)
(7)    Promotional materials need to be strong “idea generators”
      •   Landing sites for “Twentysomething” and “Theater” audiences
      •   More and “better niched” PR … including cable TV (food & travel
          shows) … magazines (Southern Living & specialized travel
          publications) … major metro newspapers (especially Atlanta)

                                                                      60
                                            Summary of Key
                                              Implications
                                        “Weekend Getaways” Group

Key implications (continued):

(8)   Overcome “Traffic” Perception with new access & local roads

(9)   Overcome distance in miles with travel time (Myrtle Beach is well
      within the driving distance parameters of Atlantans)

(10) Overcome perception of “North” with images and weather differences
     (Atlantans face real winter and may perceive that Myrtle Beach does)

(11) Overcome “Congested/Atlantic/Spring Break” perception with the
     NEW reality of Myrtle Beach

(12) Reinforce decision-making process and new perceptions of Myrtle
     Beach with testimonials


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                                             Summary of Key
                                               Implications
                                        “Weekend Getaways” Group

Key implications (continued):

(13) Offer “Incentives” or “Calls To Action” to capture attention of the
     Weekend Getaway market

(14) Perception is reality – “Image is Everything”




                                                                       62
Summary




          63
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Photo Summary
Myrtle Beach Area
Chamber of Commerce
2007 Target Atlanta Focus Groups

             February 2007



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Appendix




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