Bed tax revenue rose 8.2 percent for the months of June, July and August 2012 over the same period last year, according to statistics from Visit Savannah. That beat the previous record summer — 2010 — by 7.2 percent.
The island’s hotels, inns and vacation rentals were near full occupancy for the Memorial Day to Labor Day span, tourism leaders told The Savannah Morning News
Factors that led to the busy summer include relatively mild weather, favorable water conditions and Tybee Island’s proximity to Savannah, officials said. Savannah tourism is on pace to top last year’s record returns, with hotel stays up 6 percent through the end of September, they said.
“Our increased exposure is a product of Savannah’s increased exposure,” said Amy Gaster, president of the Tybee Island Tourism Council.
“We as a tourism council have made great strides in marketing Tybee, but the truth is the more attention Savannah gets, the more we are known as Savannah’s beach,” Gaster said.
Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman said his community has a small-town feel that keeps visitors coming back.
“Tybee is unique in that we have managed to retain a small-town aura that has been in many ways destroyed at other beach communities,” he said. “I talk to people who come to Tybee for vacation and find they are amazed a place like this still exists.”