Tourists checking in despite tropical storm Andrea

Woman taking her luggage up to her hotel room in Myrtle Beach. / Lisa Edge

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - The Grand Strand and inland areas will start seeing the effects of Tropical Storm Andrea in the early morning hours Friday. One group that's closely monitoring the storm is the tourism industry. They're hoping the storm won't have a negative impact.

During the summer thousands of tourists head to the Grand Strand for rest and relaxation. Despite the approaching storm, things looked like you'd expect this time of year on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach Thursday afternoon.

Outside hotels, dozens of families were unloading their suitcases and taking the first of several family vacation pictures. One thing that is on their minds is how Tropical Storm Andrea will affect their time here.

"We're just hoping that it'll clear up and we'll get lucky," said Nandi Kathuria. He's in town with his wife and another couple from Michigan.

For those in the hotel industry an approaching storm can turn into a booking disaster. At least one resort says that's not the case and they haven't had any cancellations so far.

"Calls have ramped up today, informational calls. 'What do you expect? 'What should we do? We are planning to come. Should we come, should we not come?' very just informational calls," said Donald Hovis with Springmaid Beach Resort. "I think with school now just getting out. I think people are ready for a vacation, so I think maybe they'll delay it for a couple days but I don't think they'll fully cancel a vacation because of the storm."

"We called the hotel yesterday to see if they have any discounts because of the weather and they said we've just about sold out, we only have nine rooms left. And we said if there's so many people going we're going too. So that was the decision maker for us," added Kathuria.

Although it was overcast for much of the day, plenty of people were still out and about, making the best of the weather.

"It's lively and the Boardwalk is just beautiful. I didn't expect it. You go to the ocean side of the Boardwalk and the work that they have it looks magnificent," said Kathuria.

Hovis added this year's tourism season is off to a strong start so he's hoping Tropical Storm Andrea or any other storm will not interrupt that trend.