The warmer temperatures here in eastern Carolina bring many out-of-town visitors. Some businesses worry high gas prices might keep them away, but tourism experts on the Crystal Coast have encouraging news.
The Crystal Coast Tourism Authority says advanced bookings for cottages and condos are really strong and are ahead of where they were this time last year. Atlantic Sun properties is seeing a 17% increase in advanced bookings and the Sheraton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront hotel says they are about 35% ahead of where they were this time last year. All a good sign for an area that depends greatly on tourism.
"Its a great family destination and we're very affordable. Most of our attractions are free, if not for a minimal fee, and it's clean. It's pristine and we have things in all price ranges," said Executive Director at Crystal Coast Tourism Carol Lohr.
The Crystal Coast Tourism Authority says Easter weekend is looking good, and tourism generates more than $250 million dollars a year for the Crystal Coast