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April 5, 2022

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB Launches
The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge for Local Businesses

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.—The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) today announced the creation of The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge designed to expand the Grand Strand community’s programming for autism families. The pledge has been created as part of the CVB’s ongoing collaboration with the Champion Autism Network (CAN) and through a new partnership with TravelAbility.

Local businesses are encouraged to sign up and pledge their support of residents and visitors with autism, sensory processing disorders and other neurodiverse disabilities. By signing The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge, each organization, as part of the greater business community, will commit to welcoming guests with autism and other neurodiverse disabilities through tangible and meaningful actions.

“We’ve been recognized as an autism-friendly destination for several years, and we also understand that we can and should do more to support accessible travel. The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge is an important way we signify and commit to inclusive experiences for all our guests – both resident and visitor,” said Stuart Butler, Chief Marketing Officer for the Myrtle Beach Area CVB. “This new initiative is designed to engage our local businesses in offering greater support for the autism community and we’re asking all businesses to engage in the sensory-friendly pledge as we work to enhance our welcoming experiences for everyone.”

As part of the pledge, businesses will work to provide an inclusive space for visitors of all abilities; practice patience and problem-solving in all situations; and cultivate an environment of acceptance and helpfulness.

“At TravelAbility, our mission is to make travel more accessible to those who face physical and mental challenges by working with destinations to establish resources for visitors,” said Jake Steinman, Founder and CEO of TravelAbility. “We’re proud to partner with Visit Myrtle Beach and Champion Autism Network as they continue to lead the tourism industry in this effort with the Sensory-Friendly Pledge so that travelers on the autism spectrum can feel supported throughout their travel planning and vacation experience.” 

Pledge participants are also encouraged to join MBACC and CVB, the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) and numerous other Grand Stand hotels, resorts, restaurants, attractions and businesses in providing CAN autism training to all of their employees to offer guests more specialized service. The training and certification program provides staff with insights on how to better support guests and customers with autism, including specific sensory needs and accommodations. Certification is part of the nationally recognized CAN Card program, which allows families a simple and meaningful way to indicate their group includes someone with autism. CAN Cards are available at the CVB’s two visitor centers located at MYR or 1200 North Oak Street in Myrtle Beach.

“Creating an environment where families impacted by autism feel supported and without judgment is the mission of CAN. Our partnership with Visit Myrtle Beach and the breadth of programs we’ve initiated are designed to create an inclusive community by building a network of autism champions,” said CAN Executive Director Becky Large.

For more information or to offer your support of The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge, please go to VisitMyrtleBeach.com/The-Beach-Is-For-Everybody. To learn more about the CAN Card program and autism-friendly opportunities in the Myrtle Beach area, visit VisitMyrtleBeach.com/plan/Autism-Friendly-Vacations.

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About TravelAbility:
TravelAbility is an eco-system of accessible travel information for the travel industry professional. TravelAbility’s Emerging Markets Summit brings together travel industry leaders with thought leaders in the disability travel space and is the home of LaunchPad, the world’s only pitchfest for adaptive technology and innovations that make travel easier for people with disabilities. Founded in 2019, the company provides an array of resources on its website, including a one-stop shop for finding accessible destinations and a guide to specialty travel agents. Its Destination Ally program provides advice, workshops and training for destinations who want to be more welcoming to travelers with a disability and Baby Boomers. Its monthly newsletter TravelAbility Insider reaches over 8000 readers per month keeping them up to date on the latest news and information about accessible travel. Visit TravelAbility.net for more information.

About Championship Autism Network:
Champion Autism Network’s mission is to educate and empower communities, businesses, and organizations to create supportive and judgment-free experiences that enhance the quality of life for people living with autism.  Learn more at www.championautismnetwork.com.

About Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau:
Since 1938, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) has stood as the unified voice of the Grand Strand's business community — serving Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Little River, Loris, Atlantic Beach, Carolina Forest, Conway, Aynor, Socastee, Surfside Beach, Garden City Beach, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded MBACC its five-star accreditation — one of only a few chambers in South Carolina to earn this distinction. The Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and its destination marketing arm Visit Myrtle Beach promote tourism through various partnerships and initiatives to advance the economic success of the Grand Strand. For more information, visit MyrtleBeachAreaChamber.com, MyrtleBeachAreaCVB.com and VisitMyrtleBeach.com.

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