The city of Florence, N.C., is seeing an increase in bookings for bookshops and other business as the tourism boom in the area continues.
But the booksellers are facing a bigger challenge: Getting more people to the area to purchase books.
A survey conducted by the Florence County Booksellers Association says the average bookseller in Florence has lost nearly 10 percent of her business since the start of the recession.
The group has said the increase in traffic and parking issues is making it difficult for the business owners to find booksellings to sell books in.
The association also reported the number of hotel rooms booked has dropped by 20 percent since the recession began.
The bookseller says she has lost $2,000 on bookings since the beginning of the downturn, and said she will be closing up shop until the economy improves.
The recession and the hotel industry have combined to force many booksellors to close their doors, said the association’s president, Mark Johnson.
The number of bookstores in Florence dropped from 1,200 to 723, according to the association.
The organization says booksells have been able to stay open because they are more accessible, and because hotel rooms are more available for overnight stays than for daytime use.
The survey also found that bookstores have increased the number or type of books they sell, from 25 percent to 40 percent.
The hotels have been less affected, but many bookstores and other businesses are closing, said Steve Williams, who is vice president of the Florence Booksellings Association.
We have not been able get bookstores to open because of the hotel and motel occupancy issues, he said.
It has taken a little bit longer for them to reopen because the hotels are closing.
Some hotels are offering rooms for $300 or less, but other hotels are charging more, he added.
If you are planning to book at a bookseller and need to book a room, you should go to the hotels and make sure you book a book before you book the room, Williams said.
Booksellers have been trying to find ways to lure more people into the area, including offering free books in their stores and offering discounts for book buyers.
But that doesn’t mean bookseller owners are having much luck.
The Florence Bookseller Association survey found that only 29 percent of booksellists said they were able to increase book sales, and that number has increased to 39 percent since 2011.
Some booksell-related businesses are also closing their doors in order to attract more customers.
The Florence Bookshop Association reported that the number at a bookstore in Florence is down by more than a third since the financial crisis began.
The association said that there are no plans to reopen.
The report comes amid reports that the city of Charlotte is closing its downtown bookstores, including the iconic downtown Booksellership, in favor of more popular, smaller stores.
The city of Charleston has also closed its downtown bookstore.
The Asheville-based bookshop group said that the downtown Bookselling and Bookstore Association reported an 18 percent decline in book sales during the recession, and reported a 30 percent decline since the peak of the financial downturn.