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Tourism in Myrtle Beach leads economic recovery

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- A new Coastal Carolina University study has found tourism in the Myrtle Beach area led the recovery from the Great Recession, bouncing back faster than other areas of the economy along the state's Grand Strand.

According to the study by university researcher Rob Salvino, tourism spending was about 95 percent of average visitor spending was between 2006 and 2008 in the fiscal year that ended last June. Real estate and construction spending were only about 70 percent of the earlier total.

Myrtle Beach is the heart of the state's $15 billion tourism industry. Direct visitor spending last year in the Myrtle Beach area was more than $4 billion of that total.

The study was conducted for the local chamber of commerce.