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Ocean City Tourism On The Decline

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The boardwalk in Ocean City, Md.
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Md.

The busy summer season in Ocean City is apparently a little less busy this year. Smith Travel Research's June data shows Maryland and Delaware's beach hotel occupancy rates dipping 3 percent from last year. And while the news isn't great, it's merely just a snapshot of the overall tourism picture, and not nearly as concerning as the huge decline in numbers New Jersey beaches are seeing.

Places like Atlantic City are seeing a 20 percent decline in tourism. This comes after the federal government and New Jersey officials pumped nearly $50 million into an aggressive ad campaign following Superstorm Sandy.

Andy Malis, president of MGH Advertising, which handles Ocean City's ad campaigns, says the numbers are completely puzzling.

"If they are down that far, and we are down even a little bit, where did the people go? " he asks.

The answer to that question appears to be Coastal Carolina, where tourism is up 6 percent this summer.

Malis says the numbers may not tell us why tourists are choosing one vacation destination over another, but he says the numbers do not lie.

And that's bad news for coastal businesses at the height of the busy season.


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