GEORGETOWN,S.C. (WCIV) – Take a walk down Front Street in Georgetown and chances are you will notice people visiting from all over and tourism season hasn't officially started.
"Georgetown has always been a vibrant town. We seen our share of visitors, but due to advertising campaigns and word of mouth we are just seeing more people come," said Al Joseph, the president of the business association there.
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the city business association have aggressively advertised the area, both nationally and locally.
"We started out be just reaching out to the Grandstrand of Myrtle Beach area and as our funding increased so did our reach," he said.
The first year, the city budgeted $45,000 for their advertising campaign. In its second year, funding has increased to $100,000, he says.
"The more funding we receive the more we can expand our reach to tell them about Georgetown. That's all we want to do is to spread the Georgetown story to as many people as we can," Joseph said.
He says businesses are experiencing newcomers popping into their stores and they credit the campaign.
Management at Bien Venue gift shop, located at 815 Front Street, says the effort has been a shot in the arm for them.
"I've been really happy with business in Georgetown," Kevin Jayroe said. "We just relocated to this building we are in now and we have been here since October and business has just gone through the roof. I'm pleased how Georgetown is being rediscovered -- the hidden gem!"
Advertisements for the city have been featured in Southern Living, Redbook, as well as brochures and television commercials. They also have a newly designed website and Facebook page.
"We came from North Myrtle Beach and we read about how charming Georgetown is and we really have enjoyed it," noted one visitor on Front Street Thursday.
Through the initiative, the city hopes people who do stop in will tell others and promote the city by word of mouth.