2 Jan 2022
It’s a new year and new possibilities are everywhere, and at least on the Outer Banks, the possibilities are looking quite positive.
If the past is any kind of predictor of the future, 2022 should be another amazing year on the Outer Banks.
For the past two year, records have been broken—no…that’s not quite right—shattered is the work when looking at how many visitors have stopped to enjoy life on a sandbar.
A quick way to see how well things have been going is to take a look at the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau tax collections that account for occupancy tax and food and beverage tax.
Compared to 2020 those are way up. So far ahead of 2020 that, even though November and December have not yet been reported, occupancy would still be up 28% for the year.
Restaurants are also doing incredibly well. Compared to last year, if there were no more meals served at all after October, food and beverage would still be up almost 37%. A caveat there—2020 was a down year for restaurants, so a better comparison is 2019 and even there, the increase is already 14.6%.
Tax collections, though, are not the best indicator, but taken in combination with the visitor count that the National Park Service does for Cape Hatteras National Seashore. And that tale is record setting.The previous record for visitation was 2,923,894 set in 2002; through November the National Park Service has counted 3,099,113 visitors.
Looking forward and making a bold prediction, there is no sign at all that things are going to slow down. It would be remarkable to see another double digit increase in visitation and restaurant meals. Some new restaurants will open next year and there are some new rental homes being built, but the simple truth of the matter is, during the summer, the Outer Banks is at 100% occupancy.
That gives us here at Brindley Beach Vacations another opportunity to remind our visitors, make those reservations as soon as possible. We’re already seeing some reservations for 2023.