Visit Tybee ramps up tourism efforts

Tybee Island, Ga. welcome sign.
Tybee Island, Ga. welcome sign.(WTOC)
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 2:06 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Visitors are finding their way to vacation destinations as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxing all over the country.

Now, Visit Tybee is stepping up their tourism efforts and getting active again after scaling back last year.

An Information Hut has been closed for more than a year. Its resources like this that visitors often rely on when they are on vacation. Now, it is officially open as just one of the things Visit Tybee is bringing back.

“Tybee really is the ideal destination,” Visit Savannah President Joseph Marinelli said.

Marinelli says in April, Tybee Island and the City of Savannah had their worst month on record. But since mid-summer Tybee’s tourism began to bounce back and this is a trend, Marinelli says, that is not stopping any time soon.

“So far, in 2021, the numbers are through the roof,” Marinelli said.

Marinelli says one tough thing last year was that many of Visit Tybee’s efforts were put on pause. This included having to shut down the Information Hut, which gives visitors several resources.

“It’s a terrific resource for visitors to the beach to find out where can we stay for the weekend? Where can we eat? What are the attractions and probably most important, where are the bathrooms?”

Marinelli says what’s great about seeing people choose Savannah and Tybee as places to visit again is that businesses are able to get back on their feet.

“To have the restaurants and the retail shops and the hotels and the trollies and the attractions and so forth, having people working again is the most important thing and then having visitors come in. We are so fortunate. We have so much new air service with people flying in from so many different destinations.”

Marinelli says their research shows that people are ready to get out and he expects Memorial Day weekend to see big crowds. He says he encourages people to continue doing their part to stay safe.

“I think Memorial Day is going to be that healing weekend for folks that have been anxious to get out and get out on the road.”

While last year saw some beach access limited and state law enforcement patrolling the shores, this summer is shaping up to be quite different.

Marinelli says now that leisure visitors are coming back, Visit Savannah is focusing a lot on bringing meetings and conventions back to town.

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