With many hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions shuttered during the threat of Hurricane Florence, the Charleston-area visitor industry is expected to take a big hit.
"It's about a $65 million loss," said tourism official Perrin Lawson, citing an estimate by the Office of Tourism Analysis at the College of Charleston.
Lawson of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau believes the region lost about $9 million a day, based on the college's assessment of past similar weather-related events affecting the Lowcountry.
Popular attractions across the region such as Patriots Point, the South Carolina Aquarium and Fort Sumter National Monument shut down ahead of the storm, and hotel reservations dwindled.
At least 26 conventions and group meetings were canceled after the evacuation order, according to the CVB.
"About half of the hotels, more than half of the restaurants and all the tourist attractions were closed," Lawson said. "The biggest thing now is to get the 40,000 people involved in the tourism industry in the Charleston region back to work as quickly as possible."
Charleston International Airport closed Thursday and Friday. A few flights resumed Saturday.
The airport usually sees about 360,000 or more passengers coming and going during September, so it lost about 24,000 ticket holders over two days and more on Saturday and Sunday as airlines began to resume normal operations. Some airlines began shutting down flights two days before the airport closed.
"We had about three or four flights Saturday," airport CEO Paul Campbell said. "Sunday was not a big day. It was about one-third of what we normally do. We are back to a pretty-much normal operation now."
The canceled flights are not expected to have a huge effect on the airport's passenger totals for the year, which are on track to surpass 4 million for the first time.
The full financial impact on tourism won't be known until final reports come in over the next few months, officials said.