Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Miley Cyrus boosts tourism in Tybee after 'The Last Song'

Just about a year ago filming for "The Last Song" wrapped on Tybee Island. With it's April 2010 premiere, businesses on the island kept their fingers crossed that the exposure would put Tybee on the radar. According to the Tybee Tourism Council it did.

"Year to year we are up about 11 percent, so we have definitely had an up year," says Lindsay Fruchtl of the Tybee Tourism Council.

While the movie didn't specify Tybee as its locale, the stars made sure the world knew where they filmed. Miley tweeted about Savannah and Tybee on Twitter. The stars themselves raved about Tybee as well in television interviews.

One New York Times article tells the story of a Tennessee family who were forced to change their vacation plans after the Gulf oil spill. At their daughters urging the family re-routed to Tybee just because Miley filmed there.

"I think a lot of the teenagers were telling their families and getting them to come to Tybee so it's been good," says Fruchtl.

With Georgia's enticing tax incentives, Nick Gant of Meddin Studios says interest in Savannah and Tybee is booming. "There's consistently hundreds of projects coming through the region. Of those that are real, I would say about a dozen are looking at Georgia and about half of those looking at he City of Savannah also."

While it may seem like big budget filming has slowed since the filming of Robert Redford's "The Conspirator", Gant says he expects some big announcements in the near future. "I can't say exactly where and when but I can promise you there will be a great Fall season for the city of Savannah when it comes to the film industry."

By the way, "The Last Song" pulled in almost 63 million dollars at the box office.