CHARLESTON, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday the state’s $15 billion tourism industry is reaching new levels and garnering worldwide attention despite the troubled economy.
Haley stopped by the birthplace of the state, the Charles Towne Landing Historic Site, to talk about tourism, one of the largest industries in the state.
Hotel room occupancy in South Carolina through August was up more than 3 percent, compared with last year, while revenue per available room, a key indicator of the health of the industry, is approaching 8 percent.
Haley said last summer’s PGA Championship on Kiawah Island also put the state in the international
She also said that state park revenues reached a record $21 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Tourism officials have said that although this summer’s season was strong, the state still hasn’t recovered to levels of before the Great Recession. But state Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Duane Parrish said that at current rates, the state next summer should again reach the record levels of 2007.
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism is gearing up a $2.5 million spring advertising campaign to attract visitors to what they’re calling undiscovered South Carolina — rural areas away from such well-known tourist destinations as Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.