Tourism industry brings in record-breaking $23.8 billion for South Carolina

Tourism industry brings in record-breaking $23.8 billion for South Carolina

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina’s tourism industry had another record-breaking year.

During the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel on Monday in Myrtle Beach, officials announced the tourism industry brought in $23.8 billion during 2018. It’s the most recent year that data was collected.

South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Duane Parrish also announced that the tourism industry supports one in every 10 jobs and generated $1.8 billion in state and local taxes.

Parrish said the state has been growing for about a decade and gave credit to the high standards of hospitality and variety of experiences offered in the Palmetto State.

“We’re not a static, one-dimensional vacation destination,” he said. “We are an evolving, multi-faceted collection of unique travel experiences. That’s what brings more, new visitors to our state each year, and that’s what keeps those visitors coming back year after year.”

Parrish said the SCPRT will expand its support for the industry.

The agency has allocated an additional $100,000 to its Tourism Advertising Grant program and will be offering new advertising opportunities to help social media growth.

The SCPRT is also expected to open a rebuilt welcome center on I-95 southbound in Dillon by early summer.

It was also announced on Monday that Grammy award winner Darius Rucker has been named the 2020 South Carolina Tourism Ambassador.

The SCPRT will also continue its partnership with the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust and the South Carolina Association of Tourism Regions to help the state celebrate the Sestercentennial of the Revolutionary War.

“These are just a few highlights of what we have lined up for this year as an agency and an industry to further capitalize on the success of the past 10 years,” Parrish said. “We’re hoping to set the stage for similar success in this new decade.”

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