Fri., July 2, 2010 12:00am (EDT)

Tybee Island Expects Busy 4th
By Jenny M. Dunn
Updated: 4 years ago

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga.  —  
Visitors flock to Georgia's beaches on Independence Day weekend.  (photo Orlando Montoya)
Visitors flock to Georgia's beaches on Independence Day weekend. (photo Orlando Montoya)
More Georgians are expected to be on the road this holiday weekend.

The American Automobile Association predicts 11% more car-based travel originating in Georgia this Fourth of July.

On Georgia's coast, that means more people coming from elsewhere to rent hotel rooms and vacation homes.

Amy Gaster of Tybee Island's Tourism Council says, the rush is already on.

Occupancy rates are at 95%.

“We’re a small community and all of us who are in the tourism business, you know, we stick together," Gaster says. "So, it’s really a good summer I think for everyone here. And we’re all really looking forward to it. We’re battening down the hatches and our 100 days of summer, we’re right in the thick of it.”

Gaster says, while many people switched their vacations to Georgia from the Gulf Coast after the oil spill, it's a rebounding economy that's fueling the bulk of island-bound travel so far this summer.

“We’re heard from many of them that they don’t want to risk it," Gaster says. "I guess they’re being really safe and I’m sure that has a lot to do with the rebounding economy and that they’re just not willing to risk their family vacation.”

Both the Tourism Council and the City of Tybee Island have done a lot to prepare for incoming travelers, from the record number of lifeguards on the beach to planning a beach cleanup following the fireworks show on Saturday, July 3.