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      More low-cost flights at MYR could boost 2014 tourism season

      The Myrtle Beach area is expected to see a spike in popularity in 2014 because of low-cost flights, according to predictions from the travel experts at website CheapFlights.com.

      In 2013, the Myrtle Beach area saw a 20 percent increase in travelers looking to visit the destination, according to the website.

      Travel experts say the growth is due in part to the Myrtle Beach International Airport offering non-stop flights to 25 different cities, more than half of which are offered by low-cost carriers Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Airlines.

      CheapFlights experts explained that they anticipate that growth will continue this year.

      Market demand has led to airlines starting seasonal service even earlier.

      At the Myrtle Beach International Airport, both WestJet and Spirit will begin flights for the 2014 spring and summer seasons earlier than in previous years.

      "By offering affordable travel options, we are opening the Myrtle Beach area up to even more first-time visitors," said Brad Dean, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. "Growing air service is an essential component of growing our tourism economy and bringing in more visitors during our slower seasons."